Paperback Spells

The book claims the old rituals
will still work, if you substitute
a red crystal for the blood,
and for the lock of hair
a comb the target hasn’t touched,
and if you say the chant
that’s tidied up and shining
in modern catchy language,

and it’s true, if you change your idea
of what it means for a spell to work,
or you don’t mind if it fails,
or you’re in so deep
you’ll see the results you want
regardless, clear in your true love’s eyes
as they look and walk away.

Alex Harper’s poetry has appeared in Liminality, Kaleidotrope, Not One of Us, and The Interpreter’s House, among others. He lives in England and can be found online at and on Twitter as @harpertext.

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