Ten Step Tulpamancy

To begin, carry trauma like an amulet. Kiss its three sharp corners. Shine its ugly armor.

Recall the chalk clouds. Recall the scent of symbols scratched deep on motel walls. Remember rising damp, the face in the mildew that told you do not be afraid.

On the unclean bedspread, summon your sixteenth birthday. Snuff the candles, ask for time re-written. Ask for the package left unopened on your dresser. Wish perfected childhood. Wish unbroken skin.

To make a Tulpa, carry books to bed. Lie on a lumpy mattress & dictate your woes to furniture. Lie & map imaginary houses. Map topography of bodies. Think: how will his paper limbs assemble into flesh? How will it feel with one half of the bed depressed?

To make a Tulpa, practice self-negation. Hollow your head and light the neon Vacancy.

Consider the shape of your hand as you teach yourself falling. Curl two fingers: beckon closer.

Crown yourself with polished trauma. Balance amulet between your eyes & watch the dark soak through the floorboard cracks.

Kiss residue from motel's plaster split. Tongue holes in sacred symbols. Kiss his three sharp corners.

Unopen package. Hold self inside imagined houses. Wait for tenants. Wait for occupation.

Break your skin on faith and mean it.

Kia Groom is founding editor of Quaint Magazine. Her work has been published in Inky Needles, Permafrost, Cordite, and Overland, and has been shortlisted for several awards including the Judith Wright Poetry Prize. She can be found online at kiagroom.com, and tweets @whodreamedit.