escaping the storm

half-leaning he held the palm
of my left hand,
and with a mock frown
peered into the zigzagging lines
crossing over the hills and valleys

dark
light
spidery,

the life line
and
the love line,

“there will be no children,
at least none that I can see,”
I know a joke
when I hear one,

the rain had stopped beating
on the roof,
I shifted in my chair
crossed and uncrossed my legs,
fiddling with a stray thread
on the hem of my yellow cotton skirt,
nervously chewing my lips.

unsuccessful in the human cacophony
of artifice,
I might have been
an ant or a bird in my past life,

but
who cares?
some of us are better off
on this side of the street.

I laughed
and said good bye,

pretending the tea had not been
so bitter
and the porcelain cup
an ugly red.

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