Magic happens here. My rooms are filled
with spells for love, for lust,
for health, for wealth, and they deliver—
I have the testimonials.

The cost is merely losing all
one’s health, or wealth, or love, or lust,
and isn’t due until a year has passed.
My customers are sure the choice

will not be difficult, and a year
is very long, and anyway
I’m much too small to enforce the deal,
they think. They change the subject,

ask me if I use spells on myself.
I don’t tell them that my happiness
comes from not desiring what I haven’t got,
not wishing that the calendar would stop,

and not imagining their eyes, when the time
is up, and they must give away
what once seemed so easy to choose.
Nobody buys from me twice.

But there’s always someone new
who’ll make the trade, not noticing
the cold here, or my assistant
in the shadows, counting down the days.