by Kim Addonizio

It’s bad luck to break a cricket
or a baby, bad to open an evil spirit
in the house or refuse a kiss
if it’s offered with a pot of gold.
Better to wear your underpants inside out
on your head, sing at the table,
wet the bed blink years pass
and you stand in a circle passing an apple
from which you can smoke hashish
while your parents sleep
in their bedroom in the next galaxy.
Your fate is written on the stairs
to the rec room and on the doorjamb
where your brothers outgrew you.
You’ve got a magenta rabbit’s foot
on a keychain but no keys yet
to anything, the locks are confusing,
and you may have been misinformed
about rainbows and how to keep lightning
out of the house. Blow out the mirror,
one day it will hate you. Eat a lot
of garlic. When a dog howls,
someone is near. A cat has several lives
and so do you; look, a bird at the window
has eaten your youth but what luck,
all these years later
and you’re still a beginner.