- from Ancient Greek ἄλευρον, áleuron, “flour”

On the countertop, pulverized
residue of fields. When I run
my fingers across it, I remember
the first time a clump of green
on the roadside betrayed my trust 
by cutting a young, clean stroke 
across my palm. Hold it out, 
said the woman who stippled 
the barely visible wound with 
alcohol on a cotton ball. 
Hold it out, said a neighborhood 
fortune-teller years later; she   
traced the number of lines at 
the edge of my pinky finger then 
touched the life-line disappearing   
into my wrist. I sift and sift  
according to instructions, until 
the powder's fine clouds settle.  
I could write names or curses 
in this sand. With a little heat 
and sugar and water, I could coax, 
like ambition, a slab to rise out 
of almost nothing. I could dimple 
the cheek of the loaf or razor it 
before returning it to the fire. 
I could slip into its folds 
a ring or a paper heart and hand-
penned note for a mouth to find,
for the future to devour.       


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