Rachel Franklin Wood

false medium

I am the clock’s fourth hand       some infinitesimal unit       moving always backwards       I
like to go around sighing       mercury’s retrograde again       the moon’s a thin 19 percent

when I’m in the library       it’s you who pivots       disgusted by my noisy ectoplasm
pardon my attempt       at cheesecloth and wonder       sometime my ghosts       rattle around
inside me       but more often       my knee is playing earthquake       beneath the table

once I decided being witchy       would turn me to a better woman       I became a better woman
if I spell myself invisible       will I weigh heavier       in the finger nervous pockets of you

Rachel Franklin Wood is a trans poet from Laramie, Wyoming, but she hasn’t lived there for a while. She has a chapbook, “Every Spring Underneath” (dancing girl press), and co-edits pulpmouth.

While writing this poem, I was very conscious of my relationship to the piecemeal “witchy” aesthetic so often embodied by cis, white women in a way that can feel quite hollow and appropriative. Yet, through a shared interest in ritual and self-care, I have found myself forming deep, meaningful relationships with cis women in which my transness is not an excluding factor and through which my identity has been bolstered. How do I hold both my criticism and my community? How do I care for my physical self while magicking that presence away?