Point of View Where Orpheus Makes a Pit Stop at a Fortune Teller in St. Germain

I have studied the arithmetic of goodbyes,
calculated the oxen chewing the last line of grass

as the woman and the music merge, indistinguishable. 
Of all the forms of divination, I am prone

to numerology, the root of the matter, an ugly
chorus following you as you place your question

in the stone of the city’s gate. It will always
hurt, even when the halcyon comes carrying

the sea in her wings. The sundial’s been carved 
in the dirt. Don’t you see

the woman controls your weather now, 
each cloud babbling her image, 

a faint music, the exit
already closing from below.

Copyright © 2024 by Carlie Hoffman. Used with the permission of the author.