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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Lee Allen Hill

Deep Pockets

Cigarettes dangle from curled, cocky lips.  Nervous fingers fuss the cue.  Grey snake slithers up hard squinted eyes—waiting his turn.  Neon buzzes, blinking dark into jarring shards of cartoon color.  He is a slide show.  A projection.  He strobes as he circles, searching for his shot.  Sweaty palms swipe denim thighs. Chalk dust and challenge on his tongue.  Smoke curls into question marks.  Is it the money on the table?  What else is on the line? 

Ball cracks on balls.  Planets collide, carom, careen … fall, damn you, fall.  A new world disorder emerges on slate blue baize.   Gods and gravity grant him another go.  Make it a good one, sonny.  As if sonny needs to be told.  As if sonny’s immune to the geometry of greed.

Money changes hands.  Grieved, grubby, and grudging.    Good time to get gone.  Men with sticks count earthly excuses to engage them.  Neon winks, but he does not.  Back steps into cornered concealment—he and all the others who would not be found for reasons not to be revealed. 

darkness hides
razor edge of light
night worms cry