Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One Cramped Sheep

Laser Palmistry: The Early Days
By Sarah Lindsay

Determined not to ask too much,
the chiromantic surgeon's very first client
passed up the lottery-winning star along the Apollo line,
the peacock's eye on the Mercury finger for
luck and protection.

But, given the discount for scientific advancement,
she made four choices: erase the ring of Saturn
that circled her left middle finger and kept
her melancholy;
build up her mount of Apollo, to make her
lively and creative; lengthen her heart line --
she would be discriminating and faithful in love;
and draw her a good strong fate line, because
she had none.
What kind? "Surprise me," she said,
and opened her hands, and felt so naked
she had to close her eyes.

Who knew that while his meticulous lasers worked,
the tea leaves in her mug in the kitchen sink
shifted before they dried? or that three counties over,
a sheep suffered cramps as its entrails readjusted?

Meanwhile, no fewer than nine unrelated people
felt tickles like ants in their palms as their
own lines moved.
That night, while the patient's unexpected headache
accompanied minor changes in the protuberances
of her skull,
a few widely scattered astronomers frowned
at anomalies in their data,
and on Floreana, in the Galápagos Islands,
an as yet undiscovered vein
of perfectly aligned crystals disappeared.
And that was just the beginning.

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