Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Gamblers

What I really wished for was to penetrate her secrets,
dissolve her madness in the flow of ink....
Alexei Ivanovich, A young Writer

Gas lamps do not gamble with light.
They burn long and steady
in the casino hall.

Beyond the curtain, the mam’selle
with the cameo'd neck
and satin gloves,
tilts her key testing
how the room number shines
dangling from a wire.

Black digits on a brass medallion --
17 hypnotizes
the beautiful Polina.

Outside, you wait in the carriage.
Your confidence solid,
packed tightly as her wardrobe
in those leather trunks. She will come soon
leave the tables, the roulette sun
revovling all hours to cast
an endless day.

You adjust your cravat and look
toward a shop's lantern.
Lit by candle, its flame seems
erratic, drawn to whim
and shadow. So much like her

but unlike the girl
you transformed with your pen
scattered in these pages
that have no assemblance
on your lap. Their words
drifting into a sweet daze
of snuff and cedar.

Yet, you are betting fate
will be even kinder than fiction.
Last night out of love,
she vowed to quit. Her hair pefuming
your shaven face – while her fingers
pulled the drawstings of a purse.
Its tassels glittered, jilting the stillness
with the same frivolity
you never heard on her tongue.

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