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Divination + Belonging

Poetry, Mae Capaldi


You take me down to the slick smell of the shore

smooth stones cushion our pairs of bare feet, heels, and toes

as we walk to where the wet rocks’ nightsongs roar;

only here can we discover what no one knows.

Light of all lights, the humble moon rarefied

in the haze of the night, for the first time awake

pin-pricks in the blanket sky, stars call to be identified

so we sit and stare, as the waves rush out and break.

Some point to the stars - or cards - but Oh Great Seer

you can read the Earth’s fortune in the cracks clogged up

as you ponder and reveal all that is unclear

like the algae were tea leaves sitting at the bottom of my cup.

You point out the simplicity of a lake-shaped stone

and show just underfoot, all it takes is a slight bend

I start to see how much out of my skepticism I’ve grown

as I reach down and scoop the future into the palm of my hand.



Why couldn’t I place your eyes’ color?

Were they harsh blue as those cruel jays

that dove about the arbor?

Or devilish brown as cigar paper

with its candied, putrid odor?

Or absent green as my Grandma’s emerald ring

that was lost and never returned to her?

It’s because when you looked at me, I didn’t see the irises -

instead, the milky pool around them

pulled me inward - a bride’s hands

enveloped inside her silky muslin gloves

as she shuffles her feet outside the Church doors;

where she forever waits for belonging.


Mae Capaldi (she/her) is an aspiring artist studying Creative Writing and Music at Lawrence University. Her favorite authors include Anne Sexton, H.D., and Barbara Kingsolver, among others. She is inspired by gas stations at sunset, fireflies, lipstick prints, and her friends. Find her on Instagram - @maecapaldi.


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