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Penelope Talbert – crystal ball

Penelope Talbert
crystal ball

i’m forward looking back
always over the shoulder
with a shampoo-ad flip
finding ends             split
vivid separation
the velvety sky
slinks – suction cup
caterpillar
hanging from the clouds
with unsurety
as if through the glass
of a storefront gypsy
stepping through plastic beads
that tippity-tap together
memories of dance lessons
in a tight purple leotard
the color of the handkerchief
on the witch grandma’s head
amazing how the smell of fake magic
sticks to the clothes
permeates the hair
as if begging to slip out with you
but you hand her a twenty
loving the hoax
poker face
she leans forward (looking back)
with sour milk breath
fogging the glass
and whispers
hoarse and caked with tar
“you’ve got no time”

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