Poem by Jan Lowery   •   Photo by Jill Burhans

When is a woman explored?

Is it in the act of opening her,

spreading her apart on a table,

a bed of pillows, a couch?  Is it

done the way a fortune teller

takes a woman’s fist and pries

the fingers of her hand open

on a table, a pillow, a scarf

and traces the sworls of lines,

the cuts and scars, the mounds

and curves of her palm, is it when

the pit of her future has been examined,

the fruit of her mind French-kissed,

examined, bitten, consumed

for a five minute prophecy that

her fabulous fate is known? It’s over

in a flash that kind of eating. There’s

an exchange of cash. Men and women

and gypsy palm readers turn hysterical

with distraction, a blind excess

of information. Satisfaction

is a song on the radio pounding

a stone’s savage frustration.

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