A Piper besought with Impulse, the meddling of a trickster. Caution lay behind and the Scourer lies ahead. Seek honesty. Succumb to transformation. The Dark Lady cannot be ignored.

I had a tarot reading tonight.

Find the stone that feels right.

Touch them.

They’re all smooth like your flirtation and cold like the far side of my bed, wrapped in wires like what lets me hear your voice. None of them feel right because nothing feels right since you told me things don’t feel right.

I can’t stand Turkish coffee, so I’ll never read the grounds, but I can cut a deck of cards and hold a secret thought and pick a fucking stone so maybe my Chakras aren’t so chopped.

I’ll take anything to help explain why I find signs in targeted ads and more meaning in colors than my English literature teacher could ever convince me existed. A thing I thought I wanted arrived after I’d changed my mind, but how and when it arrvied made me decide to keep it.

I wrote about a purple box with a blue bow, a tag with smudged ink and a name that wasn’t mine. What landed on your doorstep was a blue box with a purple bow, labelled in print with a name that matches your school ID. It wasn’t your heart inside, but mine. There’s no gift receipt, and I don’t want it back.

I wrote about reaching to touch across parallel lines. Our lives are in three dimensions and what we have is more of a double helix than a ladder or train track. Double helix like DNA. Like blood.

You told me to find a garnet, but the reader said it’s amethyst that calls to my star sign, and again, carved from the fucking fabric of the universe, your lilac influence harmonizes with mine.

You told me to find a garnet, so I found two strung on a chain flanked with flower-shaped beads that reminded me of you. You know I hated the color red until that first flower you sent me, then the second. They taught me how to love these stones.

The stone is supposed to speak to me, but you’re all I hear. Apologies you don’t owe me and worries you don’t deserve to have. I can’t hold you until my conviction seeps into you, but I can hold this fucking garnet until my aura or energy or whatever seeps into it.

I’ve lost control of this narrative and the symbolism in it. The story writes itself and I can calculate the trajectory of exactly how the signs collide into something like fate or destiny or the surprising but inevitable climax.

I don’t have to trust the signs or the stones or the cards or the grounds. I trust you. That’s faith.