the Witch

by Freya Gibbon

the Witch lives
in a televised serial
we watch her shadow darken
a spare shot every 3 episodes or so
tides pull out of & into the Witch
when the moon swings she wakes with bellyaches
she fingers herself most mornings
she’s lonely the Witch aren’t they all
she eats cold chicken feet
she buys by the dozen
from the Piggly Wiggly up Stillman
& then it rains
inside her house + yellow sugar melts
walls contract
+ slide down their sugar studs
she opens her wide mouth + drinks down as much
of the sweet flood as she can
on the flood the cast of the TV serial
crew a small vessel a prop from episode 7,
based on a true tale of water escape
they are all experienced manners
of the vessel on set
they know the lines to say & the lines to pull
but then the Witch accidently
swallows them
& they sail up the dark hall of her throat
like a kernel of pepper
the Crew’s all a-titter
in her
one of them lights a candle their only
one + wax drips down onto the floor of the Witch
a Witch is hollow inside but for the undercurl of rib
stuck in muscle + fat which is now the ceiling
of our world
the Man-With-His-Shirt-Tucked-Under-His-Belly proclaims
he thinks he’ll make captain
you step forward to blow
out the candle + thereby preserve some
for next day + day after + etc when presumably
you’ll still be stuck inside the Witch
everyone is mournful without the light
they just float in the night-long silence
but in the morning there’s a surprise
sunrise inside the Witch the enlivening rays
of the sun cheer the Crew + in the sun they see a worldfull
of green + yellow continents + blue + purple oceans
to explore + surely there will be seasons even
well hang me up by the cocktails it’s
New Jerusalem the Man proclaims
but no one’s listening
anymore & you look over
at the Bestfriend character
you’d been behindscenesing with
+ think of the stone cold Natives
you’ll meet in the New Witch
who’ll wear clothing made
from incredibly thin fronds
of palm + ferns who’ll have
an entirely different code
of comportment involving
group massage + weekly
ritualized coupling maybe it’s time
to be just friends
then the Witch fingers
herself scrapes herself bare +
everything inside the Witch
when she comes jiggles like an egg
before it’s hardboiled &
at last she digs a hole
a very deep one to live in alone
the end



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