magic man

Published in Gulf Coast, Summer/Fall Issue 2007.

The shapure-man was casting a spell: Firoza wanted to get married again or at least have her old husband come back to her. She had saved from her pay for months (as well as sneaked some money from the shopping she was supposed to do) and finally she had the twenty five taka, three candles, and three heads of garlic that the snake charmer had demanded. The fish scales were to be wrapped in a piece of cloth that had been rubbed on the face of a kumari-kanya—a young virgin. His tongue flicked out in a quick motion as he enunciated the words again—the face of a kumari-kanya. The bundle would then be tied to her hair where it was to remain for seven days and seven nights.
       “That should do the trick,” he told her, “Bring some unfortunate right to your doorstep. But your face won’t do, will it, now?” Firoza giggled as he winked at her.