sometimes destiny sticks in my throat

“You will find yourself,”

said the half-inch slip of thin paper

folded carefully inside a mass-produced shell

of blandness and sugar that had been

haphazardly tossed on the fake-mica table;

an afterthought,

patronization leavened with

the plasticity of the dough, polite pink font

smiling up at me with closed lips.

“Tomorrow,”

I silently added, allowing half the dry-witted confection

to slide awkwardly past my tongue,

admitting a departure from the normal

innuendo of things,

worn out from searching

down the wrong alleys

and fumbling in a darkness

of too many wrong turns.

The other half, meanwhile,

lay rejected to one side

of a cheap patterned plate,

clean now but for a grease-stained napkin

crumpled on top.

I wonder, does destiny always taste

like the memory of shiny heels

kicking relentlessly against

the back of a pew, shuffling forward

with hands folded toward the front

of the communion line?

For “tomorrow” I would have swallowed it whole.

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