thirteen steps past the funeral pyre

by Charlotte Amelia

in salem’s graveyards
there walk the ghosts
of those you tried to burn
as bones became charred
and tears streaked soot
now
if you breathe in
feel the catch of your heart
the flush of your cheeks
as the air feels a little warmer
for a hundred years and a hundred more
and all the centuries that followed
and will follow
they count your steps
and mark your path
and i hope to your gods you don’t cross them
with word or thought or deed
because magic is magic whether it is old or new
and even long since dead
the witches’ screams
will swallow you

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