Adam Fieled

                                   The Witches of South Philadelphia
If you ask the Devil she worships if he is
static or dynamic, a lightning bolt or a clod,
you’d be stunned to find him turning his
tools towards the erection of a greater God.
            She’s great with drinks, smokes, what’s green.
Yet, as I was between engagements, how it was
I fell asleep I don’t know. Her hands seemed
in the cake somehow, Carpenter Street laws
imposing three twists of her wrists, words
uttered backwards like a rogue monk might’ve
in 1311, ops number one with an arrow. 
shot off the sill, mild November night, kinds of
confetti falling over me as the bloody corpse I was—

“You don’t question Mother Nature. What I have
between my legs is among the stars, out into space.
I carry Nature around and men can never really
know what Nature is. What I’m picking out of
the air now is who you are. So while we go through
these things, don’t question, OK? Just understand
that what I’m doing is an expression of myself as
a Goddess, and as the Goddess I am.”

Dagger’s flick into, under my skin, droplets
    into the silver chalice, I could feel
myself almost swoon, fade into darkness.
    She was quizzically writing a seal
onto parchment: here we stood, man & wife,
    not forgetting what it meant that this
        started in a classroom, for Christ’s sake,
us opening our books onto Blake,
    & the other she-devil laughs, sits
       watching me too: two girls, two knives. 

“Alright, cast the bloody circle, love, but
    as you’re off with your skirt please
remember to be gentle with your bit of
    Nature, & don’t be hard on my knees.”
It moved in on us, her personal Devil,
   lightning bolted our asses into greenness,
       festooned the room with forwards noise;
she moved in on me, her Goddess-
    assistant, licked clean powdered toys,
          held onto me as magnet to metal.

5:30 am: I stepped out of the circle as she slept,
    onto the balcony, darkness on Carpenter
conferring benediction, light as it crept
    hitting me inwards, black turning lavender.
Taking up one of her notebooks, I
     ripped out a sheet of paper, composed
           a single stanza in terse couplets—
who the Goddess was, what she was
     without a God, or with, in the drunkenness
         of marriage to a man, & why. 

So, through the Devil’d God, the she-Devil
Goddess prevailed into union with the poet.
What he learned in the South Philly flat: levels
of calm around good, evil, how to hold it.
The breakfast feast was more than waffles;
a green apple, cut open, exposed its raw life;
just as the sunrise exposed what was lawful:
she’d emerged, forwards, as my natural wife. 

Adam Fieled is a poet based in Philadelphia. His latest book, The Great 
Recession, was released as an Argotist Online e-book in 2019.  
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