For anyone who has ever felt like
they don’t belong... or who likes supernatural shows
My grandmom Eileen
Once set a spark crackling
Through a TV screen,
A cleansing spell that didn’t clean.
Hands pretzeled in my lap,
Spine paralyzed, foot tap, cycling
through Octobers and full moon crap,
Cat eyes open for my magic snap,
The witch map.
Hoping for a generation skip,
My mom’s only magical trick:
Remembering all the bad shit
My father ever did.
No broomstick, no magic
In the walls, no attic traffic
From ghosts, or spaghetti
With eyeballs. And grandmom
Eileen, all withdrawn, still whispering
Spells down her New Jersey halls,
Withholding my Sabrina moment.
I’m still waiting for her to call.
Or even my grandmom Roxene,
A past-life mermaid singing,
Had men packed like sardines,
Crashing ships on shores at fourteen.
Legs crossed, hoping they twist into
A tail of blue scales shimmering,
Shining like sun rays on rippling waves, oh to
Sail, instead I inhale salty gulps like a whale,
Swimming through summers then winter hail,
Eyes open underwater ‘til I see in clear detail,
The fairy tale.
Maybe the gene missed me, my father’s
Only sea in the drinks he’s downing, drowning, deep
Diving into faraway streams, wrapped in
another woman’s seaweed.
No siren songs, only rising tides
In my eyes, no sunsets seaside,
Only sailors’ goodbyes. And grandmom
Roxene dreaming, reminiscing
About her mariner’s eyes and
Her moonlight glow, never revealing
If my own mermaid tail will grow.
The misplaced daughter of Stevie Nicks
Or Neptune, the sunburnt child of the moon,
The princess stolen quick from the life
She should’ve lived, from the palace,
Atlantis, or a dismantled coven that humans undid
And hid from her, raised a mortal convert.
Can this outcast outlast an aching heart,
the mystery, never knowing who you are?
Shouldn’t feeling so alone mean you’re really
a part of a world still unknown?
Maybe I’m the werewolf girl
With my hairy arms and wild curls, or
The vampire chick with the sun allergy,
With my pale skin and low social battery.
Or the mermaid, or the witch,
or the pixie, the psychic,
I must feel so lost because something inside
Of me has been dismissed and ditched,
Taught to twist, switch, never pull on the loose stitch.
I have to be something more than this.
The Library Aisle on Women in Art
I am the Pizza Guy’s Frankenstein girlfriend with beer for blood / President’s lady-carcass
sprawled nude upon classified documents / Slackerboy’s science experiment hogtied with neon
workout bands in his parents’ basement / I am the vision-she / blueprint / waist cut & rope
sewn to scalp / statue for the Conquistador / meat-bride for the Beast / I have Man’s eyes /
socket wire-threaded with syrup pus / mind transplant barbwired in skull / programmed other /
beauty bot with an off-switch flesh ditch / I am the industry of bodies / discourse of whore
and virgin / she-myth / prostitute butchered in the alleyway / watercolor princess plunged in
Sharpie fumes / I am all undead women / Man clutches my skeleton / always watching / from
behind my eyes.
Isabella Piacentino is currently a rising senior at Temple University, studying to be a high school English teacher. Bella's poem "Tommy Girl" has been published in Temple's Literary Magazine, Hyphen. As well, Yikes Magazine published her poem "I'd rather be a bitch" on their online platform. When she's not writing poetry, Bella is arguing with her conservative family members about politics or reading sappy romance books with her friend in their quarantine book club.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.