She yells at me to come back.
And tells me she isn’t begging.
There, I can have my note back.
There, sanitized too. No virus.
She tells me she reads palms
But doesn’t spread them out.

I pull out my own sanitizer,
Rub the coldness on my palms,
And spread them out before her.
She tucks the note close to heart,
Wields the cracked magnifying lens,
Squints her eyes, shakes her head.
Double life lines. Running parallel.
Double the life, double the death.
Double the miseries in between.
She eyes my masked smile.

Too many lines, she complains.
Too many, but too thin, too short.
You try too many things? Yes.
Try too many women? Not really.
Love will find you soon. Soon.
I’m already married, I lie.
She eyes my ring finger. Scoffs.
Must be an absent wife, then.
Or an empty life. Sold the ring?
She eyes my smile again.

You don’t work hard now.
Used to, not now, yes? Yes.
For virus? No. Love? Yes.
Soon. It will come soon.
I nod, trusting her totally.
What do you do? I write.
Big-big books, yes?
No. Small-small poems.
Love poems? Not really.
They are no good. Soon.
Poems bring money? No.
Fame? No. Food? No.
That’s who you married?
You can say that, I guess.
No money in your lines.
No one pays us visionaries.

Want to learn reading palms?
Want to teach? Yes.
How much? No charge.
No Guru Dakshina, then?
In time, in time. Not now.
You have time on your hands.
I eye the parallel life lines:
Double the time.

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