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begun to gather around Darla. They are chanting merry merry mango what ya gonna do you had to be appealing and they all peeled you. She has become a little shaman, drawing the words out of them, causing them to clap and sing, urging them on, as she breaks into light perspiration against her party dress, which she insisted on wearing this ordinary day, to utter tiny shrieks and cries. Mommy has conferred on her this inordinate power simply by teasing out the brush strokes, issuing the assurance she needs to go forth and possess the pavement. If she were of a mind, Darla could utter prophecies of the first order, turn to each of the bystanders, Freddy and Jocelyn and Nina and Solomon, tell their futures, that one will open a car wash and prosper from bushels of quarters and thereby find the queen of his dreams, another will survive a cancer scare and become an evangelical and so find peace, one will have affairs, keep promising not to, but she can’t help herself, nonetheless the work of her fingers in the beauty parlor, her subtle way with a bottle of dye and a f lash of scissors will bring solace to three generations of halfloved women, almost supine in the chair where they sigh out their travails, and one will excel as a bicycle mechanic. The meticulous calibrations of his wrenches will send children spinning through the neighborhoods, where they will go on a quest for the perfect basketball game. But Darla says none of this. She couches her wisdom in riddles, asking what’s white and yellow but never, never settles? How can a powder be a power? When can a stick be a tap? Some of the riddles are unanswerable. Some she heard and didn’t understand, but only repeats, because she is the vehicle, not the source. Some she made up, in a trance. It doesn’t matter whether the riddles are answered. The main thing is to ask the question. The main thing is to keep your curiosity alive. The main thing is to ask the riddle again tomorrow, because that implies there will be a tomorrow, and that you’ll be in it. Divination is a simple art. All you do is make your best guess. Nobody knows anyway, not even God and if she does she isn’t telling. Whipping her skips into a fury, Darla lets f ly with her legs. They’re reaching PAYNE | BorderSenses vol. 17 9

BorderSenses Journal Vol 17  

BorderSenses Journal Vol 17

BorderSenses Journal Vol 17  

BorderSenses Journal Vol 17

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