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To Undo a Hex and other poems

Poetry, Elizabeth Jesse

1. To Undo A Hex

The core cracks opens for careful observation

of the shattered mirror:

is it mending,

is it a decades long illusion of fracture

is it no longer reflective

but an oxidized green heirloom?

A ritual shedding of veils occurs and then

the blade skitters away from the body:

is it time to heal

is it possible to trust

is it real this time?


No exit nights

No entrance morning

Memory loss

Poison in hard vials

Throats with strangling hands

Boiled headaches in the eyes

Raw tissue rubbed to habitual pain

Relegated to a secondary need,

a shift finally occurs

slow sliding of ice on ice

melting to reveal a warm love

A love song to undo a hex

II. Growing around grief like a tree against a fence

Here we meet as any other time

Glass screen and blurry tender lines

Drier, frailer with sickness

Breasts with hallowed stretch marks

Write in playful call and response verse for hours

Both of us still in this mind breathing and speaking

Cherubic lips

As you scribed

Comforted with your eternal knowing

Words to fit me

Mountains to hold you And I come down

As you scribed

I the shepherd, with my precious sheep

The green meadows and gracious seascapes

Does my heart break in my mouth?

Does your heart still beat in yours?

III. Love

In congregational mists do the dead come

Wanting for sheets made of soft words

Nothing where the present runs

No, yet a made bed

No, yet a chorus of my life

No, yet still my mouth to your paper hand

Moulting, a solid stench yet—

An image etched of reply

A message in stone for centuries

A side unwilling to be chilled

Miles of carved earth from the bodies buckled to my belt, dragged forward with all the strength I had to prove in a misunderstood method of respective remembrance.

Instead markers of lost time, skewed memory. A damned river lost to drought. Did I love you never save not one pure hope. And you loved me always, for now as evermore.

IV. Confessional

The blade


into-against my sternum

The lance Propping me up

I wish you joy

A love song to undo a hex

The words are heavy

But time has made my heart to mean it

I never saw you happy

Let me rejoice in that for you


Elizabeth Jesse (they/them) is a curator and emerging multidisciplinary artist based in Tokyo. Currently, they are experimenting with Butoh and ikebana within their practice. They are engaged in the art and queer scenes within Japan and abroad. Instagram @ritualcharms

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