In Jerusalem they cast the future in coffee
cups, swish the dark liquid, overturn quick
so oily grit runs down in blobs they scry
as bears or snakes -- the symbol-spoor of destiny.
People believe that random patterns are keys
unlock time, haggle fate
with stars or chicken bones. They spit twice,
the door to fear's hundred scheming cousins.
I prefer to peruse the present over tea, slowly noting
of form, how a wave echoes a wing
and a red ribbon resembles a scar.
stare until a leaf becomes a fish
in a musical sea. The fish looks at you and says,
through my tail's false eye
and scry every possibility, even free will.
summer's twilight, mug in hand, maundering
the moment, I listen as a bird creaks through the coffee dark.
husband pastes vacation photos in a book
we won't look backward at. Imagination's telescope
on tea drinkers in Japan who let the leaves
drift before inhaling wisps of bronzy grass.
The sip remains a mountain on the horizon.