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Poem: Not You 

Girl-eyed dew flower, you hunger
to swallow the fortuneteller whole.
Receive, she incants, the clementine of me,
peel, seed, and all. Taproot will take
hold, unflag greatness, the leaf within.

When the old woman reads
horoscopes, she'll do anything
to be admired and paid. Anoint every girl
a Cleopatra, promise empires,
jewels, fire passion, all the same
eggshell to her.

Had you sat in a different chair,
under new shading, would she have said:
Some find—no, construct—love that lasts
a lifetime, not you. Your heart
will be severed from love multiple times, betrayed,
& you will bear it. Not what you wanted
but what you have.

She has no idea what's in that basket of yours, but child
just stepping out on the city street, neither do you.
A small hillside spring, minor eruptions of joy,
fitful passivity. Had she told you any of this, you would
not have listened. Two decades
have taught us that.

Speaking of...

  • A poem by Ruth Dinerman.


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