What the Universe Tried to Tell Me in 1997

I get knocked down
But I get up again
—Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping"

It was the fall of dorm room floors
and a pop song about pissing the night away.

We asked the Ouija Board if I already knew
the person I’d marry.
It said YES, planchette swinging
towards J, when we asked who.

I was dating Jim.
I hated him. I hated him
for a long time after.

I slapped at the board and stood up.

My future husband (M) was stocking shelves
seven days a week in 1997,
our high school graduation
two years earlier.

I remember telling him my cap was too tight—
6 5/8 instead of the 7 5/8 they measured
to account for my curls.

My homeroom teacher pinned
a white carnation to my gown—
I cut long slits under the arms
so it wouldn’t be as tight across my chest.
When I picked up the heart-shaped planchette,
I noticed the plastic bubble had cracked.
I didn’t notice M at the same corner of the board as J.

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