The world may have shifted ever so slightly but you still need to fill your cheeks for the winter.
You Will Be Slighted by a Dishonest Man
The tarot card told me
I will be slighted by a dishonest man.
I gaped at my friend—virtually, of course,
she, in her Queens walk up—with her cards, my name
she whispered over them, laying like a film
In his mind and intentions—I first think to my boyfriend
His straight teeth like a set of blank dominos
His well water brown eyes that, like a blanket, make
me feel warm and soothed
when we are looking at each other.
My blinding naivety denies this—I know—this
is not the dishonest man who
will slight me.
There are other options of course:
My father—a bit too cliché, right?
The man who stalked and harassed me
throughout my senior year of college,
a ghost I have laid to rest.
The stallion at my sister’s horse
farm, eyes black like bullets.
He promises to win the next national
championship with his slabs of muscle.
Then, after I cup his check in my left hand
and leave the farm,
he colics and dies the day
after I am there.
On November 7th, I drive my boyfriend
around—our country just leveraged
a major moment, politically
(I will not name names) and joy
flows out of body pots like coffee.
Around the world, cowbells manifest their destiny, sneakers
are used to jump up high.
There is a dishonest man on the
television who refuses to concede
He slights me, my body,
he slights my black and Muslim friends,
he slights taxpayers and hanging chads,
he slights like pedophilia and narcissism,
he slights his own racist agenda,
he, his card deck full, is shown
a royal flush
by our honest country—
the five of pentacles
and must go.
I await the dishonest man in my
tarot card future.
Maybe it is you, reading
I think of the stallion, down dead
before his biggest day,
and how this, is the same,
but more of a preventative vaccine,
a tissue over a huge sneeze.
Maddie Baxter is a 24-year-old poet and writer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2019 with a degree in English and Creative Writing. She does not know how to ride a bike and never will.