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Kimberly Ann Priest

The Psychic Tells Me My Mother Has Died

She lifts a card—a woman

in robe & crown—up to the light. You have lost someone important,

she says. Yes, I nod, say nothing. She stares,

thoughtful, at the spread of cards between us. Protector,

she tells me, she was a protector

for you. Yes, I nod. It’s not

as though no one knows of her passing, or knew, it’s just that

the water glass next to me has not been moved,

but the water vibrates

almost invisibly.

Sound I can see,

& she says so little, it’s perfect. The card

held up. The spread

of cards between us.

A tapestry

over the table.

She studies the cards

on the tapestryWater

in a water glass,



Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird, finalist in the American Best Book Awards, and chapbooks The Optimist Shelters in Place, Parrot Flower, and Still Life. She is an associate poetry editor for Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and assistant professor at Michigan State University.


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