Treasure Island

Erica Jong

(26 March 1942 / New York City)

Baby Witch


Baby-witch,
my daughter,
my worship of the Goddess
alone
condemns you to the fire. . .

I blow upon
your least fingernail
& it flares cyclamen & rose.
I suck flames from your ears.
I touch your perfect nostrils
& they, too, flame gently
like that pale rose
called 'sweetheart'.

Your eyelids are tender purple
like the base of the flame
before it blues.

O child of fire,
O tiny devotee of the Goddess-

I wished for you
to be born a daughter
though we know
that daughters
cannot but be

born for burning
like the fatal
tree.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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