once I was a witch

Maureen Seaton

             For love is light, perhaps even weightless.

                         -Thalo Kersey

             for Thalo (1973 - 2017)

It was after I moved to Chicago with its Great green Lake and its blue skyscrapers, after the moon poured into me, and my children became a witch’s kids, safe for the first time in their short scary lives. The kids and I laughed all night as if something funny had happened. We moved the famous Ferris wheel with our minds and manifested small fires in the snow. That’s when you found me. You were getting kicked out of religion for love, so we painted witches on churches around town until you felt like you had a whole gang behind you. When we sat by the Lake, fish jumped and waved. When we walked near the El, trains rumbled overhead amiably. Then we all grew up and away and I imagined I was a regular woman boiling soup in a pot. Fish swam like fish. El trains got stuck between Kedzie and Kimball. I miss you. If I’d stayed a witch with a frog in my pocket and a scarab beneath my tongue, if I’d drawn the moon down one more time, perhaps I would have appeared magically beside you, hugged you back to life.

once you were a girl

you tried living for a while

that’s enough, you said


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