The more like Rasputin I am,
the more accurate my prophecies will be.
I have girded myself against poison,
trained my heart to beat on command, and
I command my blood to lie
quiet in my veins while
the magnets I swallow pull the future
through each blessed ventricle.
the holiest water available—
rainwater collected in an urn filled with
the ashes of a stranger spoken to
three times: once about the weather,
twice about the weather,
once more about the rain that would not fall,
so when it does fall,
This is the best magic I know:
spirit gum and horsehair,
moth-eaten silk, mud-caked brocade.
The corset will only confuse,
so I tie it double-tight and
wear my best slippers to
sweep salt into the patterns that will tell
which appointments can’t be missed,
which appointments can’t miss us.
Stacey Gruver is a poet and artist who lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2014, she was a recipient of the Maryland Individual Artists Award.