I read people’s palms in a blue tent pitched on cracked concrete, full of the dust of other empty towns. My customers come in pairs, boys and girls clutching at each other as they sit down at my table, I wait until they untwine their fingers before perusing the in their palms. I tell them what they want to hear, I say things about long journeys and confusing roads, I advise them to hang on to each other as life drags them on a perilous ride. When they leave the blue tent, they giggle, drunk on the hilarity and the possibilities I have unfolded in front of them.

The only hands I really read are the ones that belong to the couple that help me take down the tent at the end of the week. I see the dirt roads under their nails, the children between the third and fourth fingers, the place where the wedding ring will rest, but only for a while. The girl rolls up the cloth and I see the way her hands will one day be heavy with pills, and the boy ties up the poles and I see where his fingers will clutch a wheel to a truck driving nowhere. They put everything in my trunk and I thank them both. The girl asks where I am going next, and I shrug and say, wherever looks appealing, and they both laugh.

I get in the car and wave goodbye as they walk away, I turn on the radio. I start driving, my eyes fixed on the road so that I don’t see my hands on the wheel, so I won’t see my palms spelling out dead end, dead end, dead end.




Noa Covo’s work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Jellyfish Review, Passages North, and Waxwing. Her micro-chapbook, Bouquet of Fears, was published by Nightingale and Sparrow Press. She can be found on Twitter.