This Part of Town

Woman in tea leaves teaches
me to hold my chin toward
sunlight, her lime eyes, bronze

face like a flower beaming,
breathingbin the warmth,
shuffling star-studded cards

with chipping arms she used to
soak in rhododendron and salt
water. Now I’m the one dousing

the same mixture on my eyes,
light a match. But I can’t see
the difference between stung

veins and palm fronds–they have
green threads to tie my finger
to, all the pain poisoning intuition.


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