Katie Watson (she/her)
She smells like burning thyme.
we make eye contact on
the church pews, across
the dining table, through
the curtained windows, and
She smiles at me.
when She holds my hand as we walk
She swings our arms and wears
that shirt that draws my eyes before
I cast them down to the ground.
She tells me that just as the sun
warms our skin in the field we
lie in, so our love will warm us
for all our years.
I smile, sharp, and
squint up at the sun.
She is the net and I am
the butterfly whose wings blink in
and out in the sun.
Her words are wind chimes, tinkling
gentle melodies in the wind, so that I
hear them and draw near.
In its most fundamental sense, this poem is a love story between two women. One, “She”, is the more seductive individual, while the narrator, “I”, is charmed by her words and body as they fall in love. Unbeknownst to the narrator - and perhaps the reader - “She” is casting a love spell on her. This is evidenced through the verse using sympathetic magic in stanza four, and also through the way that the narrator seems entranced by her words that are like “wind chimes, tinkling”. Although the love spell may seem sinister at first, its effects on the narrator are purely good: she begins to feel more free in her sexuality, such allowing herself to look at “Her” body in lines 11-14; smiling at the thought of their love lasting; willingly allowing “Her” to ensnare her in the end, because she loves the feeling of falling in love. Throughout the poem, traditional structures of the witchcraft narrative, particularly the repression of sexual pleasure, heteronormatism, and villianizing female seduction and magic, are flipped so that the women are reclaiming the ideals of sexual freedom, queer identities, and female power.