What Rough Beast | Poem for March 14, 2017

Kamal Kimball
The Hand That’s Dealt

I try to blot myself out
in the blank of sleep
when the visions start
their nightly chatter.

A man with a face
scrambled like TV static,
sheriff’s aviators, a red
ball cap joins our table.

We’re courteous, distracted
with drink and laughter
so we deal him in.
Shoot the shit, forget

he’s there and bet
all we own ’til every chip
is in the pot. Before we
fathom, his fingers flash

to talons and he reveals
Ten Jack Queen King Ace.
We gape as his claws rake
in everything we’ve earned.


Kamal E. Kimball‘s poems have appeared in Zetetic, Literati Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Cincinnati DIY Writers and founder of Fresh Darlings, an online writing community. She is a reader for EG&J Press and an intern with Dos Madres Press. She lives in the Ohio River Valley. More at kamalkimball.com.

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