good witch #13

︎︎︎︎︎ Aiden Farrell
︎Oct 31, 2023

Helen lived in Orange County
and had her prodigious orange hair
regularly permed.

she would often tell people that she was the long-lost
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova,
youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II
and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna
(née Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine),
last Empress of Russia.

she loved macadamia ice cream.

her pronounced scoliosis hid in her daily visits
to a structurally neglected pier on the Pacific—
a welcome mat to the quiet harmonics
flung out from the duet inside her.

the bad witch spells and then tells.

the good witch shepherds intervals in space
and disappears into them.

embodies them in other words—
just moments ago.

a parking lot or the busy strip.

the good witch is visible
though unlikely to be seen
by passersby.

not because she is not there
but because her composition
presupposes a web of interpretation
with which popular notions of etiquette
do not intersect.

assuming the passersby engage
with said notions.

it was commonplace for her
to say “be right there”
to no one there.

she often spelled it out
like an answer at a spelling bee.

making the noise.

Aiden Farrell is a poet, translator, and the Managing Editor of Futurepoem. His translation of Marie de Quatrebarbes' The Vitals is forthcoming from World Poetry Books.  @_aiden_bo_baiden_