Tires pressed toads into the asphalt until they stuck there,
dried like a flower between the pages of an over-loved book,
it was on this toad-rind road I found the sybil-lady
for the first time. She was the start of a belated teenage rebellion;
taught me to wear short skirts, to swear. To scare off chapel-boy
with the true color of my teeth, yellow stained over blood
red from lipstick I shouldn’t wear. Seven months later
I’d find her again, feed her my son’s placenta, raw—
over this fleshy-feast, she’d tell me he will be tall
and brown for twenty-seven. She’d tell me he’ll only ever be
twenty-seven, and I’d learn how I could grow to spend a life
fighting fortunes I’d fed the flesh-of-my-flesh to uncover.
I will find her a third time, all misfortunes come in threes.
Christopher will be twenty-seven and I will be out of time.
I will be practicing pond-water stagnation; letting mosquitoes
blossom, their egg-surface thick enough to be mistaken
for lily pads, though half as green
and with twice as many teeth. I will be losing my teeth.
I will be painting my lipstick outside the lines of my lips.
I will have long outgrown my mini skirts. I may grow
to think fondly of the chapel-boy. I will be holding my breath
to mimic a boy born into a skin that will be tall and brown
for twenty-seven, a skin that will only ever be twenty-seven.
I will find a road with flower-pressed-toads and along its bend,
if walked on bare feet, if in August, I will find the sybil-lady.
I will offer the flesh-of-my-flesh for a fortune.