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"Palmistry" by Satya Dash

from the once refrigerated apple on the bedside table

sprang the frozen blush of the ascending waist bone

brushed by the longing of a nerveless middle finger

that seemed way more interested in depth than range

its shyness drowned out by a bright red airplane taking off

on a runway behind a cheap lodge like a javelin released

from the throbbing grip of a palm that only weeks

back was slathering itself in luxurious moisturizer

in Room 302 of a hotel right next to a hospital it recognized

from a birth certificate framed and mounted on a shelf

in the dining room of another palm it loved but could never seduce

sober, the secret sauce of lateral libations needed to lubricate

the pumped aorta, the palm dovetailing towards another in four

dimensional space having counted all the change in the wallet

which amounted to a sum equaling a record of the most number

of goals scored in an international hockey match— the answer

won a school quiz competition when an exuberant palm pressed

the buzzer, the teenage mouth gushing the answer out to loud

cheers in an auditorium which over the years found itself reduced

to a derelict warehouse useful mostly for shooting fight scenes

of regional movies famous for depicting the hero and villain

in double roles so that you were never quite sure who was who

Satya Dash is the recipient of the 2020 Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2020 Broken River Prize. His poems appear in Poet Lore, ANMLY, Waxwing, Rhino Poetry, Cincinnati Review, and Diagram, among others. Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator. He has been nominated previously for Pushcart, Best of the Net, Orison Anthology and Best New Poets. He grew up in Cuttack and now lives in Bangalore, India. He tweets at: @satya043

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