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Jenny Sadre-Orafai | Anne Champion

Spell to Delay the End of Time

Know that what causes one wound
cauterizes another. Don’t avoid

cliff edges. Build your home
on loose rocks. Drive rusted

cars. Avoid hunger. Plant,
but don’t be fooled

by sweet juices. Know that
protecting the body of a beloved

makes you a prison guard.
Feed stray cats. Burn

something you once loved.
Know that when you kiss

a lover’s mouth you enter
the throat of a hurricane. Get drunk

on rooftops, tear the limbs
off the dolls you grew up with.

Know that your head won’t always
hold a swarm of locusts, but

your ribcage will always confine
a devastating plague.

Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of Paper, Cotton, Leather and four chapbooks. Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Cream City Review, Ninth Letter, Tammy, and Linebreak. Her prose has appeared in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review, The Toast, and South Loop Review. She is co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly, a VIDA counter, and an Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State University.




Anne Champion is the author of Reluctant Mistress (Gold Wake Press, 2013) and The Dark Length Home (Noctuary Press, forthcoming). Her work appears in Verse Daily, Prairie Schooner, Epiphany, The Pinch, New South, Redivider, PANK, and elsewhere. She was a 2009 Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, a 2016 Best of the Net winner, and a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant recipient. She currently teaches writing and literature in Boston, MA.