Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 108 in 2004.
I¹d like to say your beauty overwhelmed me;
your slender back in maroon sweater,
steel-denimed thighs withdrew my eyes, &
I missed. To meet your gaze,
I would swear your pale cheeks‹
gold-framed, adorned with pink-
carnation smile‹ commenced a different game
between us. Breathing your skin¹s mock perfume
of cigarettes & whiskey, I¹d confess
with desire¹s love I threw the first game.
Or the fifth. To win by losing,
my victory your happiness. Yet,
should you return through double doors
out of the cold that was your absence,
I¹d tell you nothing, dropping coins on the table
to earn a rematch, pretending not to want
that other game a man & woman play.