How To Make a Silver Bullet
Dig a hole in the yard. Bury yourself.
Chew dirt for weeks until
witch bones start talking to you.
Gnaw their words. Crawl free.
Spit silver bullets into the fresh spring grass.
Kill a young deer. Pluck the eyes out.
Tell the eyes a secret and then squeeze
until a silver bullet appears.
My grandfather was killed
by a witch. So, for years my father
would keep a jar of silver bullets
in case she returned. Behind the barn
he showed me how to load the rifle.
The kick back jolting my shoulders.
Sometimes on a night with the wrong air
he would wake me and tell me
we had to go and walk deep into the woods
to find the witch. Said he heard her
scratching her nails against the bark
of a tree. He shot at foxes and crows
and rabbits. Once and only once
did his shot make contact. A rabbit.
We followed the limping animal
to the edge of a creek. Moonlight
glinting in the water. There laid
the body of a crooked-limb woman.
I have invented my own methods too.
Caging a stray cat until, starving,
she coughs up a bullet for me.
Then I feed her and thank her
before releasing her back
into those tangled woods.
Robin Gow is a trans poet and witch from rural Pennsylvania. It is an author of several poetry books, an essay collection, YA, and Middle-Grade novels in verse, including Dear Mothamn and A Million Quiet Revolutions. Gow's poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, and New Delta Review. Fae lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania with their queer family.