[To say that I’m a witch makes me feel better all-around]

To say that I’m a witch makes me feel better all-around,
lets me off a kind of hook, not fishhook, meat hook, despair,
the green cast of my hair, the bitter greens I grow and cook
and consume in inopportune mouthfuls, mouthfuls by which
I consumed, in the past, my life. Did I consume my life in bitter
mouthfuls? The storytelling makes it seem so but in actuality
I dragged a bit my heels, preserving myself like a bloody
rhubarb compote in a crock for something later, better, bitterer,
and here I am in the ever-later looking back at the half-assery
of my days and the redness of my nights, innards-red, preserved
in my skull like intestines in a canopic jar, god, the vinegar,
the brine, the pseudo-deliciousness of my time, and was I always
better at eating it than growing it, casting spells than spelling it,
depicting a witch than witching it, telling it than living it?

Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press, 2018), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry. Four-Legged Girl (Graywolf Press, 2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. frank: sonnets is forthcoming from Graywolf in 2021. Seuss is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.