One by one, like stars, the fortune teller reveals the faces of the cards.
This one stands for death, this one stands for life, this one marks a transformation.
Her face is broad & blank as the space in the sky. She says:
The life that came before this one haunts you still, like a dog nipping at your heels,
But it is the life afterwards you most fear. She turns another card.
This one means, 'Heaven is a white line on blank paper,' & though it is true
it is also false, so you will forget many times & lose much to your carelessness.
Two blocks away the shelter is busy. It is Christmas, & even the hardest-
hearted kids need to be near each other, or start a disruption, or go to jail.
One by one their faces tell a story. This one stands for death, this one for life,
this one marks a transformation. They are like a wave who does not remember
the ocean. It is our story. It is the only one we know.