Costume Pains

by Jenna Velez

My mother never let me be a witch for Halloween
She never knew I was born of magic the entire time
The lavender sprigs I stitched in my pillow
Were of a craft not found in her art store

I came alive in a Party City
Where I greeted the zombies and skeletons like old friends
While I tried on the skin of cheerleaders and princesses
But I always knew death suited me more

I got older and bigger
Thick with information as the grimoire under my bed
I put up walls when familiar hands grabbed mine
To pray over a meal on a pagan holiday
I wouldn’t let them see the spell still
Effervescent on my lips
My amen was a blessed be

My mother never lets me tell her what I am
She always knew I had both feet in two worlds
Now there’s Florida Water in the bathroom
Fluorite and thyme on the window sill
I’m a witch for Halloween every year
And the other 364 days too

Jenna is poet, candle hoarder, psychic empath, and witch from suburban Philadelphia. She is a daughter of many paths including Norse heathenism, Celtic paganism, Hellenismos, espiritismo and brujería, and Southern rootwork. She is born of sea and storm, and is passionate about using witchcraft and words to balance light and dark, beautiful and ugly. She tweets @northernbruja and can be found at Stay tuned for more of Jenna’s poetry in our Hallow’s Eve issue!