Poem introduction

In Dance Hall culture, Matie is the name given to the mistress or the woman on the side.

Matie Shall Not Conquer

Matie Shall Not Conquer

You know all men are weak.
You see the way she watches him, you imagine
she has a basket of red apples and a snake
coiled around her belly
but this is the man who made you come
more times than you could count,
you are willing to use the wisdom of women
long dead to keep his eyes in your skin.

Light three blue candles
the flickering will taper
the conflagration in your blood;
fight big fire with small fire.

Write his name and your name on a piece of paper.
Write her name on another; if you do not know it, be patient,
he will whisper it, as all men do, in his sleep.
On the third piece of paper, write three positive wishes
for your rival, all the time wishing the bitch well.
Negative thoughts are returned to sender.

Place one drop of clove oil on each piece of paper.
Fold papers and put in an envelope, it should be white
like the dress you’re wearing.
Keep it under your mattress for seven nights.
On the eighth night when only the owl’s eyes are upon you,
burn the envelope in a big, glass bowl.
Do not set your house on fire.
Scatter the ashes outside, far away from your dogs;
like ganja seeds, it will drive them crazy.

In the morning, he will come to you
with a rose in his mouth,
and her name will be mud on the soles of his feet.


Copyright © Tanya Shirley and used by permission of the author.

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