Ruth Joffre


You anagrammed the stops of the London Underground
so that you could pick snail salt and pig pawn,
imp coil and viper ale, for your more vicious potions.
It was the same shimmer math by which the German
"we love the death" became "into earth. Deer couriers,"
by which I mean, it does not take magic to make mud.


You put venison in the cauldrons
of ghosts who came entreating on the Hallows.
You threw frog legs like darts and knew how to
skate an arrow down the back of the head
to collect venom. You calculated life expectancies
like trajectories, less straight-line than parabola.

So of course you thought I would bend for your hex,
smear mud on my skirt and embryos between my legs,
but I have a heart like a heel with the tendons shot
and cannot withstand more target practice. I need a healer
to help me rewrite your arrows into love charms.
I do not mean to say that I am keen on Chiron, or any


poison centaur we clay. I snub print:
I cannot swipe your tears in public.

Ruth Joffre currently lives in Ithaca, NY, but will soon be moving to attend the Iowa Writers' Workshop, as a candidate in Fiction. Her poetry has been published in Drunken Boat, and her fiction has appeared online at Clapboard House and Moon Milk Review, in addition to taking third in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open.