I have a feeling that he’ll die by the time he’s forty
And that’s not just because of the love he refuses to show me
Don’t say I’ve cursed him, ill-wished him, sculpted his body
In wax and stuck the pins in, chanting rhymes, an invisible hex
Insidious and damning, I’m not at his beck and call, the rise
And fall of the tempestuous words that tumble, flailing
Between us, he was born in a rush and lives as if time is
Running out, and I can’t keep up, I break into a run and he’s
Disappearing away in front of me, chasing the horizon, the setting sun.

And as I sit, muttering over my cauldron, of white wine blended
With my tears, curdling together, I reflect, it is possible to live too
Fast, and I laugh, till my laughter melts away and I find myself weeping
Again, and it’s not the first time I’ve cried over him, and it won’t be the
Last I fear. I stir through my potion, hope swirling with ambition
He will be mine, he will be mine, but no matter how many times I repeat
It, the fragile words taking shape and floating through the air, only
Despair lingers, and I know, and I know, that it cannot be.

I adjust the recipe; the bottles say try me but I pour them down
The sink, to think, I fell so far in my pursuit of a dying shooting star
He would have led me to hell no doubt, I take my cauldron and I fill
It with cold water, and into it I place my hands like I could be another
Lady Macbeth, as if I could wash away the stains of my desire, the fire
That rumbles on inside me although I would forget him still
I will hold them there, and feel the chill run up from my fingers until I can
Feel them no more, and meanwhile the coldness of the water has travelled
Through my body, and I am cured of my love-sickness, once and for all.


Rose Staveley-Wadham