Go ahead. Read the signs.
Tell me my future. Send me a fortune.
I don’t like the tarot deck.
I detest horoscopes.
I don’t let birthdates
or moon cycles determine my fate.
I draw my own figures in the sand.
We spin our own stories here,
no magic lamps or godmothers,
no hedge of thorns or poison fruit.
We save our own lives and lead
our own armies. Let the stars rise
and set amid their dead light, their ancient
atmospheres. They are not here for us,
they will not help us bury our dead.
When I look into this crystal ball,
when I pour the tea or rattle bones,
when I stare into the wall of smoke,
all I see before me is my own reflection,
jaw set, eyes fixed. There’s a future there
for us, I can see it, burning red
just beyond the wildfire horizon.

Jeannine Hall Gailey is a poet with MS who served as the second poet laureate of Redmond, Washington. She’s the author of five books of poetry, including her latest, Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association’s 2017 Elgin Award. Her work appears in journals like the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Twitter and Instagram: @webbish6.