The Palm Reader

Louise Platter

It’s too hot in this tent.
It smells like a place where women lie.

Dripping in sequins, she takes my palm,
nods knowingly and cracks a smile.
It must tell a joke she’s heard before.
I have never been good at being
a punchline.

I don’t know why I’m here.
Scam or not, no one in their right mind
really wants to know the future.

Finally, she breaks the spell to say my palm
tells the story of disaster.
She says it looks like the levee
breaking, like Troy
burning, like London Bridge
falling, falling, falling.

The proof is in the lines, she says.
“See!” She brushes a crease,
“Your heart line, it’s crooked.”
Another, “Your head line! It’s forked.”
It’s like an atlas, she says.
My palm is a topographical map
to nuclear fallout.

She may be the one with a crystal ball,
but I know she’s reading wrong.

I think my palm looks like the trials of Job,
I think it looks like a lifeboat in a monsoon,
I think it is a how­-to guide
for staying alive.


Louise PlatterLouise Platter is from Athens, Georgia and is currently a sophomore at Converse College. She is interested in creative projects from poetry to zine-making. Her writing is mostly inspired by Greek and Latin literature and poets such as Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and Louise Glück. She is double majoring in English and Philosophy.