Amathomancer’s Charge

Tanner Abernathy

Amathomancer’s Charge


Dulled feet follow
the white licks of lunar flames;
long mesas pull the horizon
from the ground.

The bruise-colored desert shivers
and the boy and dog
drape themselves
at the feet of slumber.
Digging heels
to exhume the final mumblings
of sunlight
and relocate the night-shocked

Stars dribble light.
The dog presses its ridged back
into the boy’s empty stomach.

The heavens sink and hover
above the two.
The dewy breath of God
wets the sand-blind eyes
of the boy.

The dog licks the stubbly
cheeks of heaven.


Tanner Abernathy is currently a graduate student at the University of Puget Sound. He spends his time pecking at poetry from under stacks of pedagogical literature. He and his wife currently live in Tacoma, WA with two rabbits. Tanner’s poetry has been published in Abyss & Apex, Jeopardy Magazine, WA129+, and won the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Competition.

Editor’s Notes: Abacomancy, also called Amathomancy is a form of divination in which a person looks for symbols in sand, dirt, dust or even ashes at times when one has been cremated. The word itself relates to sand so it is likely the original material used in this type of divination was sand and other materials were added later on. While this form of divination is thought to be ancient, there is no conclusive information attesting to its use in ancient times. The desert image is from

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