Seven of Pentacles – a poem by Jacob Budenz

Seven of Pentacles
“But release me from my bands
with the help of your good hands:
gentle breath of yours my sails
must fill or else my project fails
which was to please.”
I take my face in my own hands
and stare right into it: the jawline
sharper, the hairline lower, the forehead
not yet creased by the hard years
from which I’ve only now emerged
and which I did not know I’d
set in motion and say, firmly, 
“A fallow field is not a failure,”
but I do not hear me, poor thing; I
am not in the habit of hearing anything
but the too-long pauses after I say I 
love him before I hear it back. I 
pleased and I pleased and I pleased and I 
still watched the project fail—no, 
fallow—the project fallowed, the field
dry and cracked for the season, but I 
am free of its burden for good. 

Jacob Budenz is a queer writer, multi-disciplinary performer, educator and witch with an MFA from University of New Orleans and a BA from Johns Hopkins University. The author of PASTEL WITCHERIES (Seven Kitchens Press 2018), Budenz has fiction and poetry in Slipstream Press, Wizards in Space, Entropy Magazine, Pussy Magic, and more, as well as anthologies by Mason Jar Press, Lycan Valley Press, and Mad Scientist Journals. You can follow Jake’s work on Instagram (@dreambabyjake), Twitter (@jakebeearts), or the internet beyond (

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