by Rose Swartz

All her teeth are breaking                                As he pretends to read her palm
the scholars say we can’t trust chance           she hates him
but chance is more than a force                    when the hate reaches the vortex
the neck’s tendons burst                                  he is long gone
the biters get                                                      a red booth and cart
a blood blister                                                    with incense swaying
a spread of smashed berries                            above the lantern’s breath
in that downy light                                           worn tablecloths, the palms
inner inner                                                         and the monastery
like marrow                                                        told her fortune
if the skin                                                            in a language
had marrow                                                       she couldn’t understand.

Rose Swartz is a writer and visual artist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her writing and art has most recently appeared in Coal Hill Review, Really System, Devil’s Lake, and The Golden Key. She practices darkroom photography and travels frequently. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her new best friend Larry, a middle-aged upright piano.