Robin Gow

Necromancy of My Grandfather

I fill his old hat with hard candies and spill them on the floor of my childhood bedroom /
my grandfather died in my bedroom / whiskey bottle in the closet / coat rack after coat
rack / bodies like mushroom caps / I always wonder what kinds of witchcraft he did / his
ashes like black salt / his ashes with their bones and their teeth and their cane / to invite
the dead is to invite all of their horrors and all of their delights / he flickers the lights /
no one else is home but me / I am a skeleton boy girl thing / I think my grandfather
would have appreciated the pronoun “it” and I ask him to call me that / call me it / he is
sitting on the end of the bed / he is eating the candies one by one / sucking on them /
tongue / mouth / gums / laughs at his own jokes / instead of my bones I wish I were a
grandson / I invent a version of him that sees me that way / puts a fish hook in my
mouth and drags me to the river / puts a gun in my hands and says, “now father this” /
my softness betrays me / my fingers betray me / then my grandfather is small and as
light as me / he gives me the last butterscotch / yellow stained glass jewel / he looks for
his cane / I have been saving it for him /

Robin Gow is a trans poet and witch from rural Pennsylvania. It is the author of several poetry books, an essay collection, YA, and Middle-Grade novels in verse, including Dear Mothman and A Million Quiet Revolutions. Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, and New Delta Review. Fae lives in Allentown Pennsylvania with their queer family.