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As Promised, From The Deck (Your Fortune)
Two poems by Evelyn Deshane
Lady Justice sits on her throne
swords together, piled up with bones—
She comes to me
Through the mystical night: A vision
Pierced through reality with a sliver blade
Sharpened through insight.
She is not blind:
The scales have fallen from her eyes
And she thrusts them at my chest instead.
Brass weights, iron plates,
To decide is always a suicide of fate.
But indecision leaves you poor
It leaves you bored, it leaves you alone
The options piled high like books on shelves
Never read. Worse than limbo,
The un-baptized souls of our choices
Leave us hanging, out to dry.
Her royalty abounds: cloaked
In violet and held together under a crown
With a sceptre at her side, she sighs
The glow of the violence from her lungs,
In a breath, she says:
"You cannot live your life --
Without accepting death."
To live is the only decision you do not get to make
It is not fair. But nothing ever really is.
The perception, a pointed lens, is this:
What we have is what we will
What we reap is what we sow
But our decisions pile up, eventually,
Like skulls under our homes.
I wait. I wait and wonder,
Before I wake up from this dream.
I hear her voice in my ear
As I dress and I begin:
I cannot honour every last need
But I know now when to stop, when
To look in the mirror, to take down the enemy,
And when to wander, and let myself bleed.
As Promised, From The Deck (Your Fortune)
you must move like a chariot.
“keep going,” he said to me. fortune teller,
holding the wheel from the bottom of the deck
spinning it around, collecting lucky numbers
for numerology. he told me to rest,
pay for the night. rise in the morning to face the sun
and then, “keep going.”
through the daybreak and until the blackest night
“keep going.” always demanding,
like scripture, like a song,
written in the celtic cross, at random,
from the cards, “keep going.”
amends from those you’ve lost will come in time
if you are brave enough invite them inside
angel Gabriel holds the horn that blasts
your fortune to not be forgotten: “keep going”
the stars will be guide when i’m gone
remember the cards in the map of the night
keep your heart by your side;
let its instinct, an untamed lion, take over
this war will be won, not face to face
but shoulder to shoulder, going and flowing,
you must swim parallel to the ocean
battle aquarius through pisces
the scales, and then a pact with the devil
a brush with death’s horseman and a vow from
the high priestess, who waits for redemption
conjuring and speaking, lower than a breath.
past the lot of unlucky men, you will “keep going”
until the falling tower leaves you with
blisters and collisions, broken bones –
these are mere stitches and they heal
everything mends with time on its side
but you must “keep going”
there will come a moment of rest,
lady justice has promised you this
(after all it is only fair)
but until then
it is a whisper now,
from the hermit’s lamp,
through the cliff the fool tipped over,
from the pomegranate the empress split;
the hierophant still considers your fortune
on the wind, like rationality:
you must always,
until your fortune comes again.”
Evelyn Deshane's work has appeared in The Fieldstone Review, Hyacinth
Noir, and Absynthe Magazine. In 2013, she was the runner-up for A&U
Magazine's short fiction contest for her short story entitled "The Dream
Team" about one boy's obsession with Irving "Magic" Johnson. She has an
MA in Public Texts from Trent University and is currently pursuing her PhD.
In addition to writing poetry, she is also the poetry editor for Prosaic
Magazine and has worked on the digital archived collections of the
Canadian poet P.K. Page. She lives in Canada, drinks too much coffee,
and has an unshakable obsession with NBC's Hannibal.