Quiet Witching

tonight I will do some quiet witching
in the semi-night of the city – never
truly dark unless you strain your eyes
to the ever-upwards, the highest
gasping depths of cold black sky

tonight I will call on something that lives
in the searing orange of acrid streetlights;
a secretive cluster under someone’s
third-floor window.
            I think it’s hiding

tonight I will feel it behind the sofa
and wish I had not begun this summoning:
if I had hackles, they would be raised,
if I had prickles, poised; bumps, goosed –
but if all I have is quietness:
          let it be spooked


Rosa Campbell is a graduate of the University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin and (in Joe LeSueur's words on Frank O'Hara) 'an arrogant, uncontrite queer.' She currently lives in Liverpool (UK) where she is the Associate Editor at Valley Press, and spends the rest of her time pointing out nice dogs - although she is about to move back to Scotland to begin her PhD. Her work has previously been published in Haverthorn, Icarus and LS13: A New Generation of Leeds Writers, was longlisted in the 2015 Plough Prize, and is forthcoming in the Journal of Literary Translation. She is currently slouching towards a first collection, and can be found on Twitter as @rosaetc.