Palmistry by Jemshed Khan

What did she see

in my hands

upturned to heaven?

Perhaps bats rising

from my palms, swarms

winging into the night.

In the glare

of my smartphone

I Google death

stare at a picture

of an infected Princess

off the coast of Cali.

In the cradle of my hand:

maps of the earth,

red circles rising.

I walk to the sink,

scrub with soap, wash

until water runs clear.


I used to cross the street

from my office to see Dad.

We munched on samosas

and forkfuls of biryani.

Sipped chai

and talked Dow Jones.

Now a phone call is all.

“What did you just say?”

I raise my voice, enunciate,

but he still mistakes me

for my brother.

“Oh fine,” he replies,

and then jumbles English

and Urdu

into nonsense.

Once a week I set

a grocery sack

of canned soups, oatmeal,

oranges, bananas, milk

outside his door:

ring the door bell

and head for the car.

Jemshed Khan lives in Kansas City and has published in Heartland 150, I-70 Review, Chiron Review and Coal City Review.

September Editor James Benger is the author of two fiction ebooks, and three chapbooks, one full-length, and coauthor of three split books of poetry. He is on the Board of Directors of The Writers Place and the Riverfront Readings Committee, and is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online workshop, and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and children.


4 thoughts on “Palmistry by Jemshed Khan

  1. Enjoyed your poem, Jemshed. It’s interesting how we have our own personal versions on the same theme of how we miss family and friends during this pandemic.

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