What should I have done
in Jackson Square
but eat beignets and sip coffee?
I did what I was afraid to,
allowed a woman with long red hair
to read my fortune. She turned the tarot
slowly, looking at me, then back at the cards.
The wind blew and colorful glass
held down the cards.
You’re an empath, she announced.
I thought everyone
was like me: their radio frequencies
jammed with the feelings of others
unaware of what belonged to whom.
Her eyes grew soft.
She advised baths in Epsom Salts
to release emotions I carried,
watch them circle down the drain.
She gave me a blue stone,
that now sits on my dresser,
its coolness a healing salve.
Rosemary Royston, author of Second Sight (forthcoming 2021, Kelsay Press) and Splitting the Soil (Finishing Line Press, 2014), resides in the northeast Georgia mountains with her family. Her poetry and flash fiction have been published in journals such as POEM, Split Rock Review, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry South, and KUDZU. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Young Harris College. https://theluxuryoftrees.wordpress.com
See more of her work in 9.2 and Special Flash 50/50 and 1.4