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the fortune teller

Kristy Bowen

Occasionally, she goes out,
rubies in her mouth, mapping
the backs of men. The pale
insides of their wrists.

The horses can smell it on her,
this fear of the dead.
The drowned.
The misaligned.

We burn a circle in the grass
to ward off the magician.
His sad trail of red scarves,
his pockets full of cards.

Lately, she's discovered several
women beneath her dresses.
All of them practicing pleats
and dreaming pencils.

I teach them to whistle and hold
water in their throats like plastic birds.
We unravel every god like linen.
A seam opens and the murder falls out.

Kristy Bowen

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