On the first of every month, say it,
first words as soon as you wake
to guarantee good luck all month.
Did you do it? It’s the first of another
month of storms and fires
across the country. Only one rabbit?
You are to blame. Three rabbits
are better or white rabbit whispered
could do the minimum job. Say it
before your morning prayers, before
you say anything else on the first,
or your month will fill and overflow
with losses, deaths, accidents.
You don’t say daily prayers? Heathen!
Cause of evil! Reason so many turn
from family, against church, their proper
thoughts and place in marriage’s
holy hetero embrace. You know what
happens if you don’t conform?
Helen Damnation is your name.
Why else were you born?
This heat, these fires and tornadoes
are not Global Warming, not climate
change. They are taster-sized portions,
hors d’oeuvres sent by Satan. Get used
to it or pray. For you, the Easter Bunny
will never lay another pastel egg.
#4. You will no longer be plagued by an unceasing sense of longing.
—Daytona S.L.A.A. Promises
Because I don’t pray or believe
in a Higher Power, I planted myself
in my trust in change, that my urgency
to find the perfect partner would pass,
not drop away like a stone dropped
over a cliff, not vaporize in a flash,
but a slow cooling of the fever
that burned my brain, made it
impossible to write or concentrate
on driving. In heat, I swerved
like a boozer on straight roads.
Inside the tornado, I couldn’t grasp
the funnel’s whirl, could only let
myself be taken up, face covered
against swirling debris, wait
to land on my feet, assess the damage
and dress my wounds. The longing’s
never far. No longer my life’s center.
Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, sex therapist, writing coach, and seminar leader. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam, 1998), and her work has appeared in Potomac Review, Rattle, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Permafrost, Slipstream, Timber Creek Review, The MacGuffin, Writer’s Digest, The Fourth River, the minnesota review, Personal Journaling, and Playgirl. She now writes poetry and does fabric art in rural central Virginia.