RHEA // THE VENOUS RETURN CURVE

Rhea unlines my palm against her fingertips, says

‘you have a long heart line that splits in two,’
says that I’ll have two Great Loves and nods.
This is how you teach believing. She’s bent
over the computer, fingers against her lips
so gently she must not be able to feel them,
but it helps her concentrate. Or at least I think it does,
because she holds the same position when I watch her
draw the way molecules dance into something bigger
but still unrecognizable to me. It’s not important.
When the novelty wears off, she returns bearing
condolences for short life lines, for dishes in the sink,
for a body she’s washed three times today. I tell her about
the way the heart moves blood to the feet and back
and how it all balances out, call it the Venus return
because it sounds almost the same, and
I much prefer the mythic today (and don’t
the planets trace eventual ovals, long and roughly human?)
She doesn’t bother to correct me, just lets the screen
bruise her skin unnatural bright, violets and plums.
It makes finding the blue veins of the wrist that much harder,
but she searches anyway, a habit won from a mother always
peeling back her eyelids for evidence of anemia
or something more serious. I want to ask her where the beginning is
on the palm, and if we can find our parents there, and where
will I be in two months time? But there are questions
that shouldn’t be answered, so instead I cradle the weight
of her head on my shoulder, of her breath shaping a sigh.

 

[Summer, 2015]

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