Magicians and Fortune Tellers
pluck a single card from a shuffled deck
and there’s a one-in-fifty-two chance
that you now hold the two of hearts.
all our potential futures that we think exist somewhere
in maybe or one day
are as much illusion as these card tricks.
there will only be one outcome.
in some places it is illegal to predict another’s future:
yet, here we are, it seems,
always trying to predict ours.
is it superstitious to believe a deck of cards could be more than it seems?
from suits to Tarot’s hallowed grounds,
casting a spell of what if.
ask one question and then watch as the cards are turned.
in the end,
to ask the question of us,
about me instead.
you remain as an unknown card,
two nights ago, you saw a movie with friends.
heart-broken and lonely,
you can never truly know another person,
and there is no such thing
though you quietly disagreed,
you let their opened hearts
bleed out a little,
just like doctors did when black humour was believed to be carried in the blood.
and no matter how rational the two of us try to be
we still cannot prove love’s existence
by simply knowing
it is so.
will all this indecision look inevitable?
all I really want to know
is how my deck is stacked.
in theory, we want to consider
where any card could be dealt next,
and all things are possible;
I think this is what you mean when you say, ‘you worry too much’.
if we are not careful,
these worries will become boundaries.
but reality is limiting,
with its physical bounds,
and the fact that all probabilities still sum to one.
were ever equally likely,
with an infinite number of things we could be or do,
then all those individual probabilities
you see, nothing
are the only two things
we know we can’t be.
so I insist:
if there are some things we will never be,
and some things I will never not want,
when these are not worries,
then they are warnings.
for you, I am willing to dilute my own set of probabilities
and shuffle our decks together,
let the cards fall where they may,
even if your cards
will never truly reveal themselves to me
– because you at least know you when I cannot.
and if everything we think we know
about what is coming
must be illusion
then at least
it is illusion
No Home-Maker Here
we planted a seed
in the blue pot
by the backdoor.
I made sure you knew
it was your plant,
the carpet we replaced
was blue for green
and more plush besides.
to establish stability;
from the ground up.
the plant proved ill-conceived metaphor,
for as I saw it grow
in snapshot passings, out and back,
its first single sprout
I asked it why it had to be this way,
and its answer was to continue to spread,
though the base stayed strong,
untwining from that one singular, steady point,
as if to say, ‘what did you think would happen?’
in the home
I like open space –
I heard feng shui
was just making sure
an elephant could walk through the room.
but I’m as ignorant in that
as I am in maintaining health
of potted plants –
no gardener, no home-maker here.
who’d want an elephant
in the room?
on the couch we may face
the same way
but feel screened off,
as it were.
work follows us home,
there’s busy silence,
or occasional talk
of who’s watering whose plant.
Today I walk inside,
past well-flourishing plant (now looking brown),
flick off shoes and send roots into plush still-new carpet;
I shuffle shuffle my socked feet
towards you, on the couch,
and then reach out,
Hah! Even after all this time,
there’s still a spark between us.
The One That Got Away
Not a man
The other mes
that could have been.
those potential futures
suggest a new form
in the shuffling about of genes –
and one days