Writings / Poetry

Palm Reading

Deanna Nikaido

Palm Reading

We are inseparable grains of huddled rice
around pickled plum.

Pond reflecting sky. To hear
what my hand says you must lean closer.

Fist like parachute
lands palm down.

First secret.
Safe secret.

Understand these cups
we drink from hold rivers.

Finless answers swimming
an ocean of words.

Hands are maps reaching.
Fulfill and fail us.

Palms up means window.
You look in.

Is there a line for everything we do?
Is the crime of avoiding my own brothers eyes

in school carved there between the off white
laughter? Palms hold uncomfortable intersections.

You look both ways.
I hand you oars.

Our tea is bottomless.
Our bowls empty.

In your eyes a bird heavier than gull lifting.
We say nothing.
The air between us readable.


When My Son Gives Me Flowers

Even when they are spent
And the flush from their cheeks
has begun to let the light through
I cannot throw them away.

I think about what a deliberate boy asks a flower
in a mans voice about choice
pushing upward from dark earth
listening all the way back to seed

about the distance
between foliage and flower,
their ladders to sun.

About what fists hold
dispersing into a fields.

Knowing even prayers have consequences.
He chooses colors he knows by heart—

Thank you
I love you
I’m sorry.

All shadows eventually make one night.
Even the tiniest puncture reveals
the eclipse of the body’s thin paper—
To pray what is hidden
sink past resistance.

Accept you are stone.
Skin lined with light has two eyes—
Left, sun. Right, moon.
Sound out heaven.

Stairs are the old equation.

Kite Flying

It used to be that small hands holding
an unwinding spool of twine
could carry the weightless regrets
of our body’s work ahead
like bird wishes.

That feet though anchored
could fantasize soaring,
every cloud breaking bone
between our fingers untying
the hearts thin crimson wing
from its chest.

I know what tangle is.
What web is meant for.
Anything spun perfectly in a night
is a place for helplessness.

Question the loom.
Its hostage of lace.

Remembering has partitions.
Forgetting is a fishbone.

If this were military
I would call it ambush.

Yet here through this lattice
where nothing grows—
the fire of a cardinal
filling itself with seeds on the other side
moves up two squares then flies.

The sky outnumbers.

Home has eight legs.
A mouth with many windows.
It corrects our small blizzards—
Our three legged grief.

Old song
Young every time I sing it.

About The Author


Deanna Nikaido has published two collections of poetry, Voice Like Water (2008) and Vibrating With Silence (2007) and holds a degree in Illustration from Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA. She has been a coach and is currently the design specialist for Bookinday (BID) a non-profit, educational services company that fosters literacy skills, teaching students the fundamentals of creative writing, through poetry and student-run publication—in one day.
More information at www.deannanikaido.com

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