The Tarot of Sky/Swimming Pool

Third card—What crosses, or interferes with, the subject of the face card  

I liked the southern California hills dark and open with just a hint of coyote hiding in the bushes around the corner from where I lived. And the stars, of course, always there and taking their time to burn. There’s just something about the sky. It eats our dreams. There was once a swimming pool with palm trees and brick surrounded by plastic chairs and crickets, raccoons, and a small patch of sky ridged with eucalyptus, cottonwood—a sky cut with leaves forming a great oval, the center of which changed depending on the season, contingent on the direction I floated this pool with chlorine. I thought there might be an octopus in the deep end near the diving board, an octopus who would take me into its feeding arms, suck me into it with its intelligent squeeze, its cephalopod symmetry. I knew this with certainty, so I swam near the shallow end where the pool steps could be my quick exit for when the time came. Because it would. I was certain the octopus would come for me. There were people who liked this pool—a brother who warmed his pitching arm in the hot tub after hours with a girl named _____ and later, a boyfriend who took my sex, then lost it, and a friend I smoked with at the in-between hour, that time when the dark slips back into day—reliable, but always new. This tarot is about swimming pools and the way the sky looks from our backs, wet hair pulled down, beach towels on the cement, and the hum of the pool heater sending shocks of warmth into the water as we float under stars that warn us of our future, of our past.

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