We Are Seduced by Wizards by Elizabeth O’Brien

Let us record how they seduced us
one by one

how they whispered only you
in our ears

they were like fractured ships
all arms and hairline cracks

scudding along shoals
of impunity longing for anchor they confessed

and fingered our
locks.

Let us affirm how lush
their enjoyment

of our fleet wonder
cheaply won

it rankled us yet somehow when slavishly
they contort

become whippoorwill
or woodsman

or carnivorous again stroking
one finger

twisting their beards
we all sway in favor

though reckon we’ll refuse them
ever hereafter we will

refuse should they become a hungry
snowstorm

our prints sinking into loomed carpets
bluegold their canine delight

is alchemic you are so
young they rasp

tongues
over teeth

inscribing spells
on the roofs of our mouths

pads of our toes dear as gold
they pour us

out streaming wet
as polish on semi-precious agate or snowflake

obsidian but we hate them I
hate him

for how my belly pulses
static or window glass

how my locks cut themselves
and curl in his hands how

Beloved he pulses and I
let him.


Elizabeth O’Brien is the recipient of a Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant through the Loft Literary Center, and the James Wright Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in many magazines, including New England Review, The Rumpus, and Ploughshares. She currently lives and writes in Minnesota, and her first chapbook, A Secret History of World Wide Outage, is forthcoming from Diode Editions in 2018.

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