i spent a year as a wiccan

alexandra weiss


because i didn’t know how else to process the news that i have a genetic

predisposition to cancer

because i went from being home on summer break and

turning 22 and pre-med to

having a mastectomy

and suddenly everything felt fake and terrifying

fell casualty to the earthquake and

with nothing standing between me and the anesthesia

and the scalpel and the loss of my

breasts and the loneliness of it all

when we parked outside a magic shop on our way to get some persian food

i thought that maybe this would help like music in the dark would help

like listening to ke$ha on the way to the doctor helped

and so i went in and got a big black candle and a crystal that the

little card said stood for change and transformation

and then the night before the surgery i sat in the dark

pouring all of my fear about my dead aunt and my

bad luck and the cancer center and what if i’m never sexy to anyone

with all these scars and what if i don’t wake up after

into a matchbox with a bunch of herbs from the kitchen

that the internet said were metaphors for safety and survival

and sealed it with wax and brought it with me to the hospital






Alexandra Weiss studies literature on death at UChicago. She loves Halloween and her pepper plants and has been previously published in Haggard and Halloo, Cadaverine and Another Chicago Magazine, among others.