By Mark J. Mitchell
Art by S. Putnik
Published Issue 098, February 2022
He never got his witch — the potent night
that cracked open under her icy touch.
Or silence, wrapping him soft as a cut
reed shroud. All his short time was spent in light
too ordinary. He’d constructed small shrines
against her coming. Didn’t lock doors just
because she might appear. But patient dust
covered it all. Years dripped by like old sleet
melting midwinter slow. He stayed contrite,
humble, a book of spells on his oak desk.
Each morning brought coffee, clients to meet,
traffic. The cold goddess he dreamed escaped
his life. Now death tugged his broken breath, next
to candles — out. Bells — dumb. His witch came late.
Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Roshi San Francisco, was just published by Norfolk Publishing. Starting from Tu Fu was recently published by Encircle Publications. He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster where he made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, like everyone else, he’s unemployed. He has published two novels and three chapbooks and two full-length collections so far. His first chapbook won the Negative Capability Award. See more by Mark on his site, Facebook and Twitter.
Siena Goldman aka S. Putnik lives in her birthplace, Los Angeles, where she has spent her lifetime so far experimenting with the visual and musical arts. She loves working with pencil, pastel, watercolor, crayon and collage to convey interesting textures, color palettes, and moods in her multi-media artwork. As a 25 year old, she has spent a lot of life in school, uncomfortably switching districts and trying to fit in. Now, she is just stepping out yet again, this time stuck in the squeeze of birth as a young artist.