they make a receptacle of pins —
pale proxy still proximate to him, palmist
whom they proffer pathology (absent
middle finger valleys mean they’re ruthless)
these cunning folk he sends away, to your
village, though you’re allowed to stay behind
stone parapets in plaits, a veil demure,
a pupil with a higher left heart line
deemed pure. Sequestered, then you feel the sting,
the first of countless cuts. No one is there
besides the chiromancer, your shrieking.
He asks if one of them did braid your hair.
It was the elder, her ominous palms recalled.
You were once girl they make a voodoo doll.