Fortune

Not the indifferent message
served inside the cracked
shell of thinned pastry dough,

but whatever sifts down
through the mesh of sleep
to wind up in the bowl

you are served for breakfast—
Not the spoon you stop to take
out of your mouth to consider

what worth it will hold, melted
in the furnace. Listen then,
and remember: how your

grandmother knocked on the door
of each pawnbroker’s house in town
to beg back the heirloom

with its inlaid heart of rubies
strung on a chain. One desperation
can lead so easily to another, then

another. And it’s true, we most desire
what brilliance wounds the deepest.
What we’ll give to stay inside

such golden, reckless beauty! That flickering
in the trees, every leaf a tongue that must
burn hard because winter is coming.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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