I let the spiders live in my house,
keep them in its corners like the jars
of black salt saving a place
for my grandmother’s ghost.
Already I’ve inherited her salt pinch
heart—superstitious and arrhythmic.
Salt for protection, salt for deflection.
Spiders for the other, weaving and waiting
and wishing harm.
To dream of a single spider
is to know you are safe from self-destruction.
I have never dreamt this dream,
only walked through webs.
I still breathe an addict’s measured breaths.
I am still sure my heart will stop in my sleep.
For a spell, spit wine into a jar of salt.
Fill it with razor blades or broken glass.
Seal it with black candle wax and tie it with red ribbon.
Hide your witch salt well.
I let the spiders live in my house
until they lay their cotton swab eggs.
Then, I flatten their small magic into nothing
and wait. Their always coming back is a small comfort—
sure as Thursday meetings at the Door of Hope Church.
Image: Still from 盘丝洞 (The Cave of the Silken Web), 1927.