It is midnight,
I am at a karaoke bar
and I think you are sovereign here.
There is witchcraft in compliments,
and I do not want his praise of my bailiwicks.
Each step in a dance is a crossroads,
Hecate, I think you know this
–and I would not presume to judge
the knowledge of a goddess from a bar,
my body slick and human as it is,
caught between a man
and the future.
But back to the call, lady.
I do not pray for your power,
I do not want it.
Neither of us is the least of our aspects.
You let your worshippers give
you the alms of their lips
you lock your priests in caves
you remove the wits of heretics
I pray for none of these interventions.
I pray, to thank you for your lessons,
for the ease you give to standing,
moving without direction
the place you give to unneeded choice.
Bio: Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and is currently working on her Ph.D in Applied Philosophy at the University of Waterloo. She has been published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Twisted Moon Magazine, and Wild Musette, and was a 2018 Rhysling and 2018 Aurora Award Nominee. If you want to find out more, reach out to her on Twitter @SamLynneS.
About this poem: Lynne Sargent says, “This is a poem directed to Hecate, in her role as the goddess of crossroads. It imagines a girl turning down a proposition at a bar in a singularly witchy way.”