The Poetry of Karla Huston
I used to think it only took
a bucket of water to kill a witch.
I'd seen it so many times:
how Dorothy flung it at her, the broom
on fire, the Scarecrow on fire,
the Tinman rusting nearby, the old lion
sucking his tail. The witch crumbled
to a steaming pile. I'm melting,
I'm melting, she said as the monkeys
grabbed their eyes, flapped
their wings in despair.

For years,
I slept with a glass of water
next to my bed. Now I know
it's not the witch who scares me,
but the idea of her, that old nose still
hooked under her nasty hat,
the puddle of fire spreading,
what I couldn't control
finally reduced to steam and smoke.
Previously published in Main Street Rag and the chapbook: Virgins on the Rocks, Parallel Press, 2004.