There is a world where the adults can show a child what her future will be.
They use a felt board; the same kind used to tell Sunday School stories.
A woman with plastic-wrap hair holds shapes with her witch fingers.
She says, “Here is the boy who will break your heart.”
The little figure is tow-headed and dimpled.
“You’ll run in so many circles, it will take you years to untangle all the curves.
But you’ll be grateful for having fallen in love.”
The woman is sitting in a toddler-sized chair. It scrapes on the linoleum as she scoots forward.
She says, “These two blurry shapes are your parents.
Gods and demons.
They are warm. Cold. Massive.
Someday they will diminish, even as they come into focus.
Their pain will be as clear to you as the red triangle you see here.
They will become so small you could fit them in your pocket.
That’s when you remember to carry them at all times.”
The woman promises you a butterscotch if you remember your lessons.
She scatters flannel confetti all over the blue sky felt board of your life.
“These are the friends you will want because you like the same music.
But these bricks off to the side? They are the ones who would lend you their bones.”
She shows you oceans and skyscrapers; all of your adventures.
"There is the whale who will fail to swallow you.
There is the Egypt you’ll be too afraid to leave."
You think it’s strange that she knows your favorite trees to look at from a window,
and the paint drip bumps on a school wall that will fascinate your fingers when you do the important thinking.
These lessons are comprehensive.