Laura M Kaminski ~ Superstition

(for Leah Stetson, 03/02/2014)

I. The Witch

Forget black shapeless flapping sheet,
pointed hat, ill-tempered cat
and broomstick — she’s a modern
woman, Hallowe’en and dwarves
and apples all just child’s-play,
blasé. Think golden curls, patent
leather heels color-matched to her
burgundy valise. Her lipstick’s picked
to match the case, titanium wheels
are reflected in the manicured curve
of her silver nails. Her skin’s a natural
tan that hints at drinks with pink
umbrellas, lush fruitiness of pineapples,
smooth coconut, the scent of tanning
oil. Hope you caught that glimpse
of her while she was waiting to go
through security; she slipped by all
their detectors without a pause
or bip or beep. She’s boarding now,
she’s flying overseas. Trust me on
this — for her, it’s not the destination,
it’s the journey.

II. The Eggshell

The one you left in Sunday’s trash,
the one that split so neatly down
the middle above the pan and threw
the egg in three directions ’round
your kitchen. That was witch-brewed
distraction so you’d cast the shell,
still mostly whole, into the bin without
a second thought while you cleaned
up. Not crushed. But dangerous. I
know it seems incongruous, but those
two whole halves of calcium-hardened
eggskin that you left like that can
now be used for her malicious spells.

III. The Crush

Beneath the humming harmonies
of jet engines, the witch relaxes,
seat-back tilted, legs crossed to show
the perfect definition of her thigh.
She watches from beneath her long
eyelash extensions, waits for the sun
to finally abandon the horizon,
for the aircraft to slide to the darkside,
then reaches one hand in the purse
— you guessed it, also burgundy —
that’s perched beside her on the seat,
withdraws an ordinary Ziploc bag.
Security was too mesmerized by
bouncing curls and swaying hips
to notice this small oddity they
missed. Inside the bag, of course,
the shell. She smiles, holds it for one
moment in her hands, then whispers —
barely moves her lips so you can’t
hear or read the words that she’s
reciting to accompany the evil cooking
in her mental brewery. She brings her
hands together slow and steady till
her palms meet; the eggshell shatters
as if it wasn’t there.

IV. Warning

Who knows what part of the great
ocean she has just ensorcelled,
cursed? It’s hard to mark the spot,
exactly, with the plane so far above
and moving fast. But if you could
have dropped a plumb-line at that
moment, you would find a patch
you could mark upon your naval
chart as hexed, a mine-seed planted
deep beneath the surface of the sea
to antagonize the magma’s grumble
between continental plates. This
will not form a pearl. This is where
begins an okinami. Incubation time
for evil? In general, I hear it’s
thirteen days. Seafaring friends,
beware the Ides of March, coast-
dwelling friends, beware the tides
of March.


Laura M Kaminski grew up in Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing, and the author of several books of poetry, including last penny the sun.


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