I.

"Come, my child, stop, stay and set a spell
drink some iced tea in the cool evenin' shade,"
she says, a crafty old southern woman,
all white hair and sun-brown skin, but her eyes
are cold and shrewd, framed by delicate lines
fine as spiderwebs. She knows about need.

"They all come to me when they've got a need --
somethin' prayer won't answer, only a spell
can bring 'em. Want me to read the love lines
on your sweaty palms or conjure the shade
of one who's dead and gone?" Those cold, shrewd eyes
are not rheumy and this old witch woman

sees things that no other man or woman
could scry so nakedly, such as the need
the boy tucks away in his heart and eyes.
He does not want tarot, he wants a spell
to ease heartache. He creeps into the shade
of the porch, his face still unmarked by lines.

She laughs, she does not need to read the lines
of sweaty palms to see that some woman
stunted his heart's growth. He's standing in her shade
and is starved of light. But his awful need
will not be set right by a magic spell.
The witch woman and boy lock eyes.

"You know sorrow, boy. And it clouds your eyes.
You love a gal, a rattlesnake who lines
her nest with broken hearts. There ain't a spell,
boy, that can tame the heart of any woman
and boy, it ain't no love charm that you need,"
she whispers sadly in the evening shade.

The boy flushes, his cheeks turning a shade
brighter than brick. The witch shuts those shrewd eyes
as if to hide herself from the boy's need.
Her eyelids thin like paper, creased with lines
of age. From her rocking chair the woman
takes his hand and says, "Freedom ain't a spell

"You need to get gone from that bad woman
Cast a spell to vanish before her eyes
like a sketch before you shade in the lines."

II. "You need to get gone from that bad woman"

Through his half-open window David could hear the noise of the freeway, still busy even now at 3:00 a.m. He could hear the soft dripping from the leaky faucet in the bathroom. There were no other sounds. He was waiting for the phone to ring. This was the pattern; he and Angela would break up over some fantastic pretext that Angela would create, next Angela would find some new charming paramour better looking and better endowed than David and a torrid, shameless love affair would commence until she got bored, then she would call David drunk and tearful between 3:00 and 3:45 am, she would ask to come over, "just to talk" and would invariably end up in David's bed. David still had a staggering lack of immunity to Angela's charms. It had been sixty-two days since their last break up, Angela had never waited this long. David was certain that she would call tonight, he had developed an infallible sense of when Angela would decide to return and had been right each of three previous occasions that she had left and come back. David sat cross-legged on the navy blue cotton sheets covering his expansive queen-sized bed.

At 3:14 am the phone rang. David reached for the receiver instinctively, then remembered what he had been told. After four rings, the voice machine picked up. At the tone he heard sobs, then a faltering, voice, "David? Are you there? If you're there, please pick up? It's Angela -- I need to talk. Hello?" Then, a click. David smiled to himself in the dark of his room. Angela was used to him always answering her call. She still had her key, David sighed, regretting that he did not have the willpower to ever ask for it back.

Cross-legged, in the darkness, David concentrated and imagined himself folding in like a piece of paper, imagined the cafe-au-lait of his skin no more luminous than the gray-green shadows cast by the streetlamp lights against his venetian blinds. He whispered to himself, "like a sketch before you shade in the lines," and imagined himself slowly being erased from view. David looked down at his hands and smiled, they seemed translucent and ghostly.

A key turned in the lock, the door opened. The light from the hallway pierced the subtle darkness of David's apartment. Standing in a nimbus of light was Angela, her t-shirt wet and taut against her skin, the nipples of her small, round breasts standing out and erect. David sighed, she really was lovely with that skin as smooth and dark as chocolate and her dark eyes rimmed by thick, full lashes. She could break his heart again and again and he would have let her.

"David? Hello? Where are you? She stood bewildered in the doorway of his bedroom and stared at the bed where David was still sitting cross-legged and did not see him. Her words were always more dangerous than her beauty and David sighed, half in relief, half in regret. Silently, he stood up and stretched languorously. He passed by Angela and ran a palm over her cheek, she looked startled as if a sudden breeze had blown by her. Without turning back, David walked out the open front down, down the hallway and outward, into the freedom of the night air.

III. True Things

This is the concept you must use to make yourself Invisible.
Not being seen is the easiest part.
You can hide in plain sight if you can disguise
The need in your eyes.
Not being felt is harder, as wise old witch-women know.
It helps to forget how to feel.

These things are true.

Also true is the fact that when you are ready
to be seen again
You can open yourself like a blossom
and you will forget how to be invisible.

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