Love Spell from My Past & Future Bodies


I’m bleeding smoke salt so he loves me

scouring for leaves in a t pot


won’t matter if he loves me or he loves me not

I will get him in his olfactory


with derivatives from acid wash cunts

or testes, if he craves, so he loves me


twice a day I take turpentine, topnotch

& I sub his leather polish for poppies


won’t matter if he loves me or he loves me not

when I drip menstrual blood in hennessy


he’s gagging outside Babylon for what

I’m turning, miss or xy, so he loves me


I will compel a swell in my crotch

or I will be prepping that boy pussy


won’t matter if he loves me or he loves me not

I’ve got myrrh that grows in my heart of hearts


I’ve got a tongue, a lock, a key, a knot

that will bind him & o won’t he love me


or at least it won’t matter if not, if only




after the, second breath I’m dreaming of other breaths

which balloon my eyelids like sails walloped with

salt everything from the neck up an oceanscape

after the second breath I’m ten minutes away by boat

to a cataract unlike hypercapnia on the rocks her plunge

of devil’s throat inciting familiar panic in siren song

after the second breath silence the autonomous sensory

meridian a stream of air secure as a bonnet a bonnet

a symbol of girlhood shield & minded

after the second breath I’m ten minutes away from you

the time tuples from a lifespan of hydroelectric mills

the water wheels are broken but we’re still running

after the second breath I am giving my arms to the water

I am giving my legs to the water I am giving my lungs

to the water I am replacing like theseus so the body won’t notice

after the second breath ten minutes are left

until you become a mermaid entombed in bronze on a ship

until the tides fold into a loudsoft sighing

until the sheens against my lips refuse to go, taut


Joey Belonger is a queer transfeminine writer, educator, and printmaker from Chicago, IL. They currently live in Iowa City, where they are a poetry MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Previous work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Cleaver, Storyscape, The Cardiff Review, and elsewhere. Follow them on twitter @JoebyElonger