by Lorraine Caputo

Those many years ago
we played at being witches,
dipping our toes, our fingertips
into the dark waters
of the Spirit World.

In those days you cursed me
for denying you your man,
the father of your child—
my husband.

These many years have passed
and I know not
whatever happened to you

Or your curse

Do you still breathe
life into it,
dipping your toes, your fingertips
in those ebon waters
mirroring an absent moon?

Did you forget
to de-spell it,
forget all about it?

Or have you simply
abandoned that realm?

When does a curse die
withering away from sere neglect?
Can it?
Or like a bilharzia
does it lie dormant
in the weave of the life-cloth
until some thought of
hate or regret
wettens it,
resurrects it, wiggling
through the skins
of my being
to again infect my world?

I think of how different
my life would have been
if this had not happened, or that.
But I cannot take them back
nor would I want to—
they were lessons
I needed to learn

And do you still curse me
for the lessons you
were to learn,
for denying you your man,
the father of your child,
my then-husband

When does a curse die?

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