Size / / /

The small shall become great, the crooked become great, and though blind, I shall see.

    —Desumiis Luge

At this very moment, what I'm avoiding most of all

is laying a curse on you.

I've thought about it, a lot, and really,

it's far too much trouble

for far too little reward. So I sit here

smiling pleasantly,

avoiding carving your name with my fingernail

into a sheet of soft lead, then melting it

over a fire. On no account

will I drip wax into water and see

which of the resultant

lumps looks most like your face, then

drive pins into the places

where your eyes should be. Neither will I bury

your cat alive in a cemetery at midnight,

or weave your hair into a nest for birds

to fuck and shit in. None of that.

The worst part of my own forbearance is how you

frankly don't even seem to notice how much effort

it takes for me to avoid making

my thoughts real, killing you long-distance,

sending black words down into your blood to bloom

like microbes. Nevertheless, I refuse

to spit into your food, to lick your spoons,

to show my vagina in your shaving mirror, in hopes

that its reflection will strike you blind. To take

photos of you while you sleep, then burn them.

You can't make me, no matter what you do,

or don't.




Former film critic and teacher turned award-winning horror writer Gemma Files is best known for her Hexslinger Series, now collected in omnibus form (ChiZine Publications). She has also published two collections of short fiction and two chapbooks of poetry. Her next book is We Will All Go Down Together: A Novel in Stories About the Five-Family Coven (also from CZP). Her website is here.
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