Card Counting #1: Talking to the Ancestors

Tarot never behaved
for Children of Indigo–
there’s something abnormal
about manufactured cards
sold for $19.95 or
attempting to interpret messages
from cryptic images
shuffled around a few times,
restacked then layed out as if to say,
“pick a card, any card.”

I used to have a racist Chinese friend,
who changed his name
to sound more European.
He lived in Puerto Rico
for tax incentives
and always spoke of Puerto Ricans as them
and wondered why they
never pick themselves up by their bootstraps
and simply do better.
I told him if I weren’t around,
as a Black man, he’d say the same
about me or my people
and due to systemic racism
in our drinking water,
there are some who will never get ahead,
apparently never would be in cards.
He laughed, expecting me to laugh.
He made a few million dollars
in one year from going to Vegas
and card counting.
“There’s a method behind the madness with cards,” he said.
“But you have to be really smart. . .
and know what you’re doing
before anyone else understands
you’re the one who sets the mood. You’re in control. . .”

I don’t need cards or incense.
I don’t need rhymes or reasons
Or a natural cant to summon.
I never wanted to count cards
on an enemy, hoping he’d get
the Ten of Swords.

You come to me unwarranted
speaking tongues untied.
Your presence is known
with faint scents
of burnt strawberries and heavy vanilla clouds
briefly traveling past my nose.
You arrive unexpectedly on time.
When we speak, I see you
like yesterday’s moments
and hear you like reruns of seasons changing
and cardinals chirping on my sill.
You come to give solace and messages
during sweet dreams while awake.
You come to me with your crooked nose
and thick hair and large eyes.
You are sarcastic and ensure you’re real
by returning for three nights.
Coincidences never exist.
You come without Ouija or Tarot Cards
summoning you, on my behalf.
You come as a gift
to give a gift
and for me to share a gift,
professing all of this
was always in the cards.

About Stephen Earley Jordan II

Author of "Beyond Bougie", "Cold, Black, and Hungry" and many other books.
This entry was posted in Life in Puerto Rico, poetry, Spiritual, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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