This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Book of Levitations by Jenny Sadre-Orafai & Anne Champion, released by Trembling Pillow Press in 2020.
Spell for Destructive Behavior
The secret is this: there’s no way to find the pain
before it finds you. You can’t keep a fire
for a pet or chain it to your ankle and drag
it through your days. Worship idols
of wrecked women, but know that they can’t hear
your prayers and you can’t hear their loneliness
with the abyss breathing so heavy on your neck.
Anne Champion is the author of She Saints & Holy Profanities (Quarterly West, 2019), The Good Girl is Always a Ghost (Black Lawrence Press, 2018), Book of Levitations (Trembling Pillow Press, 2019), Reluctant Mistress (Gold Wake Press, 2013), and The Dark Length Home (Noctuary Press, 2017). Her work appears in Verse Daily, Tupelo Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Salamander, New South, Redivider, PANK Magazine, and elsewhere. She was a 2009 Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, a 2016 Best of the Net winner, and a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant recipient.
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