by Amelia Gorman
Issue 8: Weird

© hchjjl/Adobe Stock

It’s a common enough thing,
     a quarter, a fortune

Squirrel and pigeon, there is divination
     in common animals too, cockroach and mouse

Six blocks from your house with a trash bag
     full of soiled, one roll and two extra quarters

They do this in the rural, too
     feed coins to automata

Theirs are shaped like people,
     yours are shaped like condos

White boxes, silver tabs, slits,
     bare springs coiled like snakes

Leave your laundry at the door,
     and take the coins from your eyes

Slide them in like going home,
     The ground rumbles with your neighbor’s business

Push it in twice, these old machines
     Don’t work like they used to

And your quarters go where lockbox key
     cannot reach, pull the lint screen

For a slip of paper that wasn’t there before, saying:
     strange things happen under sodium lights
     stay off the blue line at midnight
     love is waiting at the park bench
     you know the one
     with the rusty plaque
     and lonely dandelion


Amelia Gorman

Amelia Gorman

Amelia Gorman is a recent transplant to northern California where she writes horror stories and poetry and explores tide pools with her dogs. You can read more of her poetry in Liminality magazine and Vastarien and her fiction in the anthology Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good from Upper Rubber Boot Books.