Laughter was slowly swallowed by clouds

as storms gathered over our heads.

I don’t remember when I realized

that you controlled the thunder,

but I remember the hushed

sense of awe that washed over me.


Is this what fear tastes like?

Moss growing on my tongue and in my nostrils,

My breath catches in my throat.

The wind was not knocked out of me,

it was borrowed by my sadness,

growing lush and blossoming,

watered by my tears.


I remember your anger, and your face

growing red like a tulip in Spring.


I waited for the clouds to pass,

knowing they would (they always do).

We laid in the grass and tried to find shapes in them.

A horse, a rabbit, a father and his children.


Out in the orchard,

wasps are burrowing into ripe berries,

relishing soft

sweetness on the vine.

Today I affirm: to relish your sweetness,

but also the bitter and the bruised parts of you.


Gather the salt from my tears,

grind it down with dried herbs between mortar and pestle.

Crush the worries and doubts into a fine powder of hope.

Store it away somewhere safe,

take a spoonful when we argue.


Your voice reverberates deep inside my bones

when you say my name.

There is magic in the names of things,

and you weave your spell around the two of us, whispering

the alchemy of your dreams,

transforming our world to gold.

Catherine Garbinsky is a writer, a witch, and a worrier living in Northern California. She holds a degree in The Poetics of Transformation: Creative Writing, Religion, and Social Justice from the University of Redlands. Catherine’s chapbook of Ursula Le Guin erasures, All Spells Are Strong Here, is part of the Ghost City Press 2018 Summer Series. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in L’éphémére Review, Rose Quartz Journal, Venefica Magazine, Cauldron Anthology, and others.

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