Touch of Evil

by Leah Mueller
&
“Read my cards,” he said,

stumbling drunk into the parlor,
but the cynical fortune teller
regarded him with uncharacteristic pity.

She lifted her eyes
from the pile of bank receipts,
shook her head at the spectacle.

Perhaps she remembered the man
he’d once been, before the candy bars,
the alcohol, and the henchmen.

He demanded to know his future,
but she refused to supply details.

She said, “You haven’t got any.
Your future is all used up,”
and suggested a final detour,

an unscripted exit towards a home
he’d never be able to reach.
He took the wrong route anyway,
died fifteen minutes later.

Nobody listens to the fortune teller,
especially when the news is bad.

Though we ram against fate
with sawdust horns, cover
our bodies with leaves, and
hope our pursuers will never find us,
in the end they always succeed.

 

Artist: Nathanial Gray

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of three chapbooks and five books. Her most recent book, ‘Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices’ was published in September, 2019 by Czykmate Press. Her new chapbook, ‘Death and Heartbreak’ (Weasel Press) is forthcoming in October, 2019. Leah’s work appears in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.

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