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Saturday, July 30, 2016


by Joan Mazza 

Image source: WikiHow

I’ve taken desperate measures.
In my bedroom, I’ve hung a horseshoe
to prevent nightmares. Perhaps
I should take down the feathered
dreamcatcher gifted by a right-winged

lover. In these times, I say rabbit each day
on waking, consult the oracle
at the east end of the pond. It hops
away on Basho’s splash. I’ve taken up
a forked stick to walk the property
and search for water. It dips

everywhere. Pointing to the four directions,
I’ve drawn the number 8 in the ground,
added pebbles to the grooves—insurance
of good luck. Time to replenish my stock
of supplies. I’ve eaten through

my stash of dry and canned goods bought
when I feared Ebola, used up the sprays
for killer bees. I’ve dumped all the pots
with collected water for mosquitoes
breeding Zika. On my head, I plan

to make a nest to wear a ferret or a rat,
train it to defend my chastity and sacred
honor. I wear clothes inside out, careful
not to break a mirror, know empty vessels
rattle loudest. I drink quiet to calm down.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Kestrel, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Slipstream, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.