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Tempest Following Fortunes
by Tara Powell

Hands that touch this fortune
shall stay young and strong.

We are miles inside safety for now.
I tilt my cup, watch shredded leaves turn
a brown, ragged kaleidoscope;
but inside it, I see a storm
devouring sand, swallowing the sound
as her maw closes over the coast--
her bite a fervent gnashing of elements.

I am noticing the color of your eyes--
granite glittering wetly
on the other side of the steam, not blinking.

A vacuum roars, creeps snarling under our feet
as a girl turns chairs upside-down on tables,
refills the salt shakers;
the owner's wife begins to tape the windows;
the manager brings a second bill,
takes the tea.

Stepping outside before you,
I observe the night has already begun
to mist in a gentle, damp sheet--
the air is crowded and hot,
hung with promise,
aching to burst.

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