John Minser

Mom cuts my palm
with an old precision:
tick, slip, then stanch
the upswell as the life-line
lengthens or deepens.

She calls my birth,
'malevolent,' and points
the knife to parcel loves
into a manageable pattern.

I beg for luck.
My mother spills the salt.
You have to seize the stars,
shake them down.






Sometimes fate seems kind of tentative. Could reshuffling the tarot cards alter your destiny? What kind of manual labor does it take to change a palm reading? And what do you do when someone else wants to change it for you?