Old Italian grandmothers will tell you, always close the toilet seat. Purse on the floor, money out the door. Eat. Protect yourself. Protect yourself. But old Italian grandmothers are dying, and no one’s sharing their stories of shadow. No one warns of spiritual warfare anymore. They don’t tell you that if you begin protection spells too late, everything around you will start to break. Turkish glass, light bulbs, relationships. Their churches stopped sermons of false idols. Maybe because they’re tired and no one’s listening. Maybe because they’re already here.
Decades of opening to shimmering exit doors. Sealing cognizance with vision, tiny humans playing hide and seek. Retinas fixed on light caused my eyes to degenerate in time, forgetting that staring at a glow is the best way to lose your night vision. Vision that doesn’t notice the trickster in the room because it doesn’t realize angels can be something in disguise. It doesn’t remember that angels can be anything. It doesn’t notice that when the owl appears and glass starts to break, when the lights turn off and on and the Tarot tells you threat is afoot, that the monster may have been here all along. Allowed through all the doorways you left open, growing in the corners you trained yourself not to see. It never opens to the possibility that the call could be coming from inside the house.
LAUREN THERESA (she/her) is a queer divergent creative, plant witch, professor, and archetypal psychotherapist living in a NYC-ish corner of NJ with her two tiny humans and menagerie of plants. She’s a poetry editor with Olney Magazine, founding editor of Icebreakers Lit, and the author of LOST THINGS (Bullshit Lit ’22.) Her work has appeared in literary journals, her own refrigerator, awkward family gatherings, and the publications tab at laurentheresa.com.