December 2012 - Comments Off

Directive on the Mal Occhio

Esme Franklin '13

To keep the evil eye from entering the home
hang mirrors on the outside of doors.

Direct the hoary eye back on itself. Remain behind mirrors.
To prevent yourself from feeling envy for others

hang a talisman around the neck. Direct the gaze
from the body. Do not gaze at the body. The eye

is a light blue circle, a dark blue oval, a woman coveting
another woman’s baby, a woman coveting the body.

The eye is a woman, passed between women.
Do not look upon children for they are defenseless.

Do not envy the lithe girl—she is marked
by the women who have born her, who have thought

of white skin pulled taut over high cheek bones.
They cover her nakedness with white muslin,

hang a blue talisman around the neck. Where the women
see blue tarnish white she sees white beg blue—an eye

in the small mirrors hung throughout the house,
refracting color into the blind night.

Published by: in Poetry, Volume 69: Issue 1

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