Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 03/17/21

THE DEVILS

I chalk up my cue-stick
in a downtown basement pool-hall,
with the devil whispering in my ear,
“seven ball in the side pocket.”

That’s when legs come down
the stairs from above,
two splendid variations
of golden stockinged light.
My hands make a shot
but my eyes are busy elsewhere.
The seven ball spins to a stop
against the rail.
The devil snickers
like he knew this would happen.

I’m already down a c-note.
There goes another twenty.
The devil says, “We’ll get him next time.”
The woman enters the room.
Her battered face
tells a different story than her legs.
She’s more in need of a doctor
than a leer.
Her own devil whispers
so the entire room can hear.
“The bastard’s not here.”

She stumbles up the stairs
and out into the night.
My opponent sinks the black.
I pay up, rack the balls for another game.

She’s looking for her man.
I’m holding out for a win.
It’s always losers
that these devils get to work with.

My adversary, her man,
are devils themselves.
They don’t need another.

©2021 John Grey All rights reserved.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

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