soul ties


poem by Mandi Jourdan

I sit on my best friend’s tan bedroom carpet,
my soulmate in my hand. I’ve seen his face
through closed eyes—past-life regressions
to a dozen different times—and when this silver
pendulum answered my every question
with a clarity only he could have to my soul,
I knew his higher self had found me. When I
bought a black velvet mat with letters embroidered
in silver and he swung to each marking, spelling
out the words to a song only he could’ve known
would reach me, I locked my doubts in the dark
reaches of my mind and let myself believe.
He spelled: “We were drawn from the weeds.”
Together again, skin and metal. “Ever the same.”

When the spirit my best friend reached earlier
tonight told her what it did to me in the life
just before this one, I stared at the ceiling,
the cold metal body of my soulmate cutting
into my palm as I lay, tracing our names
into the carpet with my fingertips. I trembled,
and in my hand, he did the same. Then the wide
circles and long, confident lines he’d always
answered me with were replaced by a sickly
twitch like a cat scratching fleas from behind
her ear, and I knew I wasn’t talking to him. It
was there instead. We wrote the offending
spirit’s name and slipped the paper into flame—
the flickering candle that rested on the dresser.

I wait, clutching cold metal, afraid to ask, hoping
our exorcism will cast out the evil and leave
my other half behind. The candle explodes. Flames
surge skyward. Glass rockets to the carpet, nicks
my knee. Wax rushes down wood, a trail of sin,
and I can feel the spirit, when it had a body. A man’s
fingers trailing my skin, unwelcome, leaving fire
and hatred in their wake. My best friend grips
the glass—drops the candle into water. This house
will burn only weeks from now. This spirit
will follow me as long as my soul lives in flesh.

(Lyrics from “Ever the Same” by Rob Thomas.)


Mandi Jourdan graduated from SIUC with a BA in English/Creative Writing and a minor in Classics, and she is currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction. She wrote and performed in two adaptations of the Harry Potter books in the style of Shakespeare as an undergrad, and she is the author of Lacrimosa (Adelaide Books), Veritas (Adelaide Books), Shadows of the Mind (Aphotic Realm), The Silenced (Bloodstone Press), and Immortal Dissent (Bloodstone Press). When not writing and listening to eighties rock, she spends time with her cats. Find her on Twitter (@MandiJourdan) or at