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I Put a Spell on You

John Murillo

Before we make love, you ask me again
to tell the story, something whispered
years ago in another city, another woman’s
smoke in my ear. You want to hear
about Ghanaian sky, an open field,
a little girl humming lullabies at dusk.
How a hawk’s wing brushed her shoulder,
muscled a talon-snatched two-year-old
into the dark. You want to hear about
the juju, rumors of roots worked
by a bad man’s wife, the savannah
the mistress collapsed in, her baby’s cries
stretched like intestines across the sky.
When I tell you what was told me, how
after that day neither mistress nor child
was ever seen, how villagers say some nights
you can hear them rustling moonlight,
your ring finger catches a shaft
of curtain-cut neon, and I wonder
what juju will be told on us,
in which city, in whose dark.

John Murillo

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