Two Poems / by Jacob Budenz


A Spell to Draw You Near Again

Essential oil (tobacco/vanilla),
mint leaves (chew), honey, dress socks,
yellow shirt, three undone buttons, boots,
sharp teeth (caps will do if can’t
file teeth/smile with canine
they never filed down), warm water,
tea (no cream!), sibilance, Latin
(before, during, after—sic itur
ad astra, excelsior
), wide eyes,
talk fast, dart gaze around room
(say: I am in awe of everything),
schedule to keep, briskness, bracelets,
a hardback book, black ink, lemon,
irony, don’t want it, question marks,
interest but not much interest,
appreciation for archaeology, or
classical studies, or whatever it is
he has his degree in, gold
nail polish (just on each pinky)
don’t be dismissive, don’t want it,
don’t want it, for God’s sake
don’t let on that you want it
don’t want it and when it comes
to get you you get up and walk the
fuck away, look back once
(as though wistful), and don’t
let the door hit him
on the way out.




Spell for a Coy Lover

Lemon grass, vanilla, rose water.
You think you’re out of stories? Try

throwing your underwear at the Moon
when she dresses herself in light
for the second half of the eclipse.

Hollyhock. Maple syrup. Hazelnut.
You think you’re really alone? Try

opening your palm on concrete; trip
on the sidewalk as you run to embrace
the one you rejected the week before.

Cayenne pepper, honey, almond milk.
You think they don’t need you? Try

shutting yourself in a box
with pink and green and turquoise
walls and sleeping until snow falls.

Spring rolls. Egg drop soup. Boxed wine.
If you don’t call him

he will come.




Jacob Budenz is a writer, performer, and occasional witch living in Baltimore. He keeps a small journalistic art blog at