Beware the law of threes— whatever magick we send into the world will be visited on us threefold, so imagine they are coming for us while we are coming for them.

Beware the law of threes. Beware the rule of law. Beware the rule of threes that the Universe doesn’t pay us back. This is the Universe following orders. Beware just following orders.

When we decide the risk is worth it, here’s how to proceed:

                    Write the name of ICE on a piece of paper.                    Fold the paper in half.                    Submerge the paper in water and freeze it,                    saying, “We hereby freeze ICE and bind them                    from causing harm. As our will, so mote it be.”

As above, so below, but beware the rule of law of the Universe. Beware the Universe following orders. The law of threes says we will receive back three times what we put out when we practice our craft, so we hesitate. We go high. In the hesitation, Chad and Ryan and Todd grow stronger. They imagine new deterrents. Horror waits in the hesitation. We go high, and horror is just following orders. The Universe is guided by the rule of law.

Beware the law of threes. Freezing spells are dangerous. We must be careful what kind of energy we put into them. Do no harm, act not out of anger, for whatever we put into the world will come back to us threefold. This is the order of the Universe. But when protests and policies do nothing, when we are so helpless that all we can do is cry or scream, do this:

                    Submerge the paper in water. Bury it at the border.

                    Submerge the paper in water. Put it in the freezer.                    Take the freezer and throw it to the bottom of the ocean.                    Take the freezer and make it a tent,                    make it a cinderblock building                    and turn the AC as low as it can go, until they’re freezing,                    until their goosebumps have goosebumps.                    Tell them that their kids                    are taking warm baths.

Tell them we are just following orders. The Universe orders us to have empathy. The Universe we imagine gives back times three. These are the rules.           Imagine not following the rules.

Beware the rule of threes, but know it’s coming for them and not us. Imagine the energy they are sending out and it is on us to repay it times three. We are following the orders of the Universe, and we imagine a Universe built on justice. We imagine ourselves in other shoes. A lack of empathy suggests a lack of imagination. It is on us to repay it.

So fuck a freezing spell.—here’s a curse:

                    Write their names on a piece of paper.                    Submerge it in water and put it in the icebox.                    Take their names and give them new ones,                    Ricardo and Jose and Liliana and put them                    in cages in the icebox with the AC on high.                    Make them experience empathy. Make them                    listen to the wailing of their children. Make them                    stand in other shoes in court for a mere 42 seconds                    before they are shipped back like faulty cargo                    to a country where 13 tattooed drug runners wait                    to rip them limb from limb.                    Make them lie in a lake of their own blood                    and before they die, bend and whisper in their ears,                    “We have your babies.”

Because if they resist empathy, the rule is that we thrust empathy upon them. We force them into other shoes until it’s no longer a matter of imagination. Tell Brad and Gary and Donnie, Do no harm, Act not out of anger,for whatever they send into the world will come back to them threefold. We are not the originators. We’re the retribution. We’re the threefold fury answering for the horror they’ve created. We fly by night, our own embodied curses.

See what you have made of us?

See what you have done to our babies?

Beware the law of threes. Beware the rule of law. Beware just following orders because the Universe has its own order and its laws are inescapable. You can’t cross over it. You can’t tunnel under it.

So beware this:

                    When the Universe restores order,                    you will be haunted by the memory of heat.                    Your fingers, your feet will always be freezing,                    your entire body as cold as ice.

Top photo by Sindre Strøm on Pexels

“What if we took all this anger born of righteous love and aimed it?”

—Ijeoma Olou, “We women can be anything. But can we be angry?”

ANGER showcases essays and poetry featuring well-aimed anger from femme writers, writers of color, LGBTQIA+ writers, First Nations writers, and disabled writers.