• Hil Hoover

it's all hocus pocus to me

it’s all hocus pocus to me, she says,

the first time she’s invited out to dance

at a bonfire on Samhain, the first time

she’s asked the questions -

who do you miss?

who would you invite from the other side of the veil to feast with you?

what do you fear?

what would you like your mask to scare away?

what do you want to know?

what should we divine for you from the coming season?


but it’s fun, and the girl who invited her

has the sweetest voice, and no one

minds at all that she’s asexual or

has to rest more often than they do

- or asks why she has to rest, is always ill -

no one minds anything she does,

just makes room for her in their midst


it’s all hocus pocus to me, she says,

every season, every quarter, every moon,

she never casts any spells in her own

quiet room in her mother’s house

where she’s a dependent far

into her adulthood, just goes to the

rituals, feels like she belongs, if

not believes, until the year…


it’s all hocus pocus to me, she says,

almost a ritual itself now, those words,

and her best friend laughs, and chokes

on the laughter, reaches out hands

through the veil, through the bonfire,

grasps at the form that can’t quite

be held anymore, and whispers

“it always was, and you always came,

and I’ve invited you to feast with us today”

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