"A Spell Against a Violent Spouse" by Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer was born in Japan and eventually moved to the US. His most current book (co-authored with Meghan McClure) is “A Single Throat Opens,” a collective memoir and lyric exploration of addiction. His full-length poetry debut “Blood Song” was a Washington State Book Award Finalist in Poetry. His writing has been published in various journals such as Black Warrior Review,Water~Stone Review, and Split Lip Magazine, among others. Schmeltzer serves as President of Floating Bridge Press and is the co-founder of One Great Things, a micro-length, macro-lensed review site.

A Spell Against a Violent Spouse

Begin with a brown recluse.
Then think of whose fists
you fear most.

Now pluck the legs off
one by one
like unwanted hair.

Beware pity; it leaves
room for the venom
somewhere hidden

in the hands you hold. And because,
dear daughter, you dote
on poison

I offer this spell. Cast
the legs aside.
Observe the body

immobile; all hands
are equally harmless
when you bald

the palm of fingers,
when a fist becomes