Telling Fortunes

Becky Sanvictores
Featured Image: Writing trains © A. Anupama 2017

My mother said
if you walk seven miles
on a railroad track without falling off
the first man you meet, you’ll marry

 

instead, I found you
curled in a sleeping bag
beneath a growth of sycamores
two hundred feet
from the Aberdeen line
heart worn clean through

 

I should have ran
broke my lungs in half
skipped those rails
should have tasted the damage
on your tongue
the strawberry chew
tucked in your sweet, sweet gums

 

but damn, if the sunlight didn’t
freckle your lashes
like diamond dust
like baby mantra
grabbing deep down
to my womb

 

your hands opened
palms routed and milled
arcs broken and branched
pulling me in,
wrapping me around each finger
until I slept through my dreams

 

I cried for you,
did you know even before you stepped
in front of the 2:30 to Charlotte,
even before
I had a chance to tell your fortune