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Fortune Teller

there’s a certain disfigurement

about her

she’s sharp                  yet

the planes of her face

                                    don’t line


in proper         triangles or     tetrahedrons



the outlines of her S m i L e s  and

                                    g r i M a c e s

end off                                    in         space

hatchet strokes

like cracks in a glacier

more like safety glass after a blow

hanging together but distorted

as if she doesn’t belong

to herself,

               to this generation


hologram eyes            looking out at you

from the barrel of a kaleidoscope

            your secret thoughts

                        that you never revealed

even to yourself


and then she’s tracing blunt fingertips

across the lines of your palm: counting, explaining—

your life, loves, the number of your unborn children—

widening fissures under a clouded magnifying glass—

cracks in the caked floor of a lake that dried up

                                    incarnations ago


all interlaced under her probing forefinger


and suddenly

you don’t want any more

of this scalpel scraping

this semi-private disfigurement and as you

pull your hand            from her grasp

she s h a t t e r s into a thousand pieces

of flying glass, razor sharp, shrapnel cutting you

layer inside layer and you know

that if you ever survive


you will hear the cackle of her mirth

dissecting you tomorrow and next year

until the time that all your raw edges

                                    like hers

end off sharply           pointing into


empty space

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© Johnmichael Simon



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