The Fortune Teller


You draw circles on the booth’s table

in the exact measurements of your cup

to predict the future rings.


You write down the initials that are carved

into the seat beside you, begin connecting

them to everyone you have ever known.


You leave your hat,

walk out past the woman sharpening

her nails into actual nails.


Into an armless mug, hot coffee

is poured back at your table,

and it spins like a whirlpool.


You stand outside, and no one

is on the streets. It is mid-day

in the city and not a single car.


You look up--from the sky,

pushing through, thousands of feet,

reaching out, thousands of hands.


Robert Krut is the author of The Spider Sermons (BlazeVox, 2009).  Poems have recently appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Cimarron Review, Smartish Pace, Bateau, Vinyl Poetry, and Natural Bridge.  He teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the Writing Program and College of Creative Studies.