Fortune Teller

By Peter Halstead

I came here just for fun, I thought,
For Sundays at the Banyan Court,
For what was then a smaller dream,
An umbrella drink, some
Dunes, a coral wall, and rum,
Underneath the palmate shade,
Worlds of bougainvillea
Spilling down a tamarind,
Hauling skies and running wind,
The things that adolescents
Hope to reap from hints
Of surf and tide,
An afternoon of brides
Bathed in ocean’s parting ion:
Your marriage at the Royal Hawaiian.

The way I hoped to be
Reflected in the chrome,
My life in retrospect,
An old photograph at home,
What we’d all expect
Enlarged by Kodachrome,
Where ancient worlds stop
At last, to answer if the swap
Of age and reason
Can justify a single season,
Can live up to
Its cardboard hype: if the sun,
In fact, came true,
And if the calmest ocean
Would as promised open
Like the inflorescence of an orchid—
Would happen as predicted
By the flowers and the furies,
As Xeroxes make copies,
Because of nothing that I did,
Because of sand, because of breeze.