fortune in a bowl of ashes


I went to Satan’s house.
His mailbox was painted black
A fleet of bonecrushers
was parked in his driveway.
The thorns on his rosebushes
were longer than shivs.
And sixty-six roosters scratched
in his front yard, their spurs
smoldering like cheap cigars.

I went to Satan’s house.
It was supposed to be an Amway party.
I wanted one of those
hard as hell steak knives.
The ones that can’t tell the difference
between mama’s sponge cake
and a chunk of rock cocaine.

I went to Satan’s house.
I felt a little out of place.
But Satan’s twin daughters soon put me at ease.
They tried on funny hats for me,
showed me jewels,
danced around my chair.
They read my fortune
in a bowl of ashes,
let me pet their Dobermans,
and watch while they rinsed out their pink underthings.

I stopped by Satan’s house,
I just happened to be in the neighborhood.
Satan came downstairs in a Raiders jacket.
His aura was like burnt rubber,
but his grin could paint a sunrise
on a coal shed wall.
“I see you’ve met Desire
and Fulfillment,” he said,
polishing his monocle with a blood-flecked rag.
“Regret is in the kitchen making coffee.”

-Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backward

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