maddie woda

judges 8

The girls from school divine tea leaves and chart star signs while I sneak out at midnight to see
Jaden, ten years older and gorgeous with his own apartment on Third. We don’t know which is
worse, witchcraft or sex, so we keep each other’s secrets. Zalmunna, which is a man’s name in
the Bible but her mom figured no one would remember, reads my cup of earl grey in her parents’
basement. Her mom lets us use their wedding china, gold foil on the rims. “You’ve got love in
your future,” Z says, and I heave a sigh like I couldn’t have guessed that. She consults the good
book, a tea leaf almanac she stole from Borders. “You’ll return in triumph.” Before I can ask,
return from what, Grace asks Z, “So whatever happened to King Zalmunna anyway?” Z shrugs.
“Gideon killed him and his friends before they could kill Gideon. Zalmunna didn’t have the Lord
on his side.”

24 March, 2021

Maddie Woda is a graduate of Columbia University in NYC. Her poems have been published in the Maine Review, the Emerson Review, Willawaw Journal, and others. She currently lives in Brooklyn and works as a literary agency assistant.