Martha raises centipedes, divines
the weather from shed skin.
It’s going to be a harsh winter.
I don’t question what remains,
know better than to look for answers
in the dust any more than the decay.
Martha opens a book of fungi, points
to each illustration, dripping down
the page. It’s raining now. She tells me,
this spindly one will only kill you
if you are a poor host. So I practice
setting the table for ten, polishing
the good China, pouring the wine.
Martha takes me foraging for worms.
She dips a hand into wet soil
as easily as into shadow, returns
with half a dozen worms reading her palm.
They scrutinize her lifeline, and Martha smiles,
lets them back down to the earth, tells me
there are yet other ways of becoming, and still
it’s raining, so I believe her. I do.