How To Make a Silver Bullet

Robin Gow

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.