Once a woman read my cards from a chair on her porch and remarked on the house, the short cases of stairs, the numerous levels and the shadow of someone always walking up and down and sitting on the edges of beds. And my father, she said, would weep in the midst of conversations. And my mother would twice rearrange her knee falling up the stairs. The woman closed her eyes, touched the cards to the felt blanket over her legs, said she could see a hand writing my name, and there was a seal of approval and the man I loved in his blackest hair and children, who would come late to me.
Some nights I think of her hands, stained purple and of the gray edges of her cards, the wax worn down to the paper, the faces of the royals smudged to ovals. I try to sleep these nights but end up on the porch instead, watching a daddy long legs walk the walls.
Lydia Copeland’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Quick Fiction, Glimmer Train, Dogzplot, elimae, FRiGG, Pindeldyboz, Twelve Stories, SmokeLong Quarterly, Night Train and others. Her chapbook, Haircut Stories, is available from the Achilles Chapbook Series, as well as part of the chapbook collective Fox Force 5 from Paper Hero Press. She works in Manhattan and lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.