Steve Klepetar


First you shake the ball, feel
its surprising heft, that smooth
black surface and its little window
of prophecy. "Yes," it speaks, in
wet black letters floating in its
little square of cloud, "Yes, the
universe holds you in its infinite
hand." Relief floods your veins,

and though you cannot quite
believe the universe has anything
like a hand, the metaphor comforts
you, makes you feel safe as a white
mouse snuggling in the palm
of a gentle girl. It's time, then, to
open a bottle of wine, feel the cool
glass against your own palms,

and the satisfying pop, more like
a little puff of air, berry dark Syrah
spilling into a long-stemmed glass.
"Here's to the universe," you toast,
"and its long fingers winding among
nebulae. Long may it hold us safe
in its giant bag." The black ball rests
on your table, quiet now, dormant,

or perhaps asleep. Outside rabbits
in the garden, on the wind a scent
of rain. You have been here before
in this web of peace, you have pushed
open this very door. Or maybe this
is your dream of the world, with your
slow waking still to come: black letters
incised on your forehead, all ablaze.

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