Christopher DeWeese

The Gambler

"Enchante, princess," I say
whenever a hand is dealt.
I break out a miniature guillotine
and ask for no cards.
A bat flies around:
he's part of my strategy,
but no men man the brooms.
They've found a more terrifying sickness,
eyes painted on their thumbs.
They speak only in numbers
and even then not much,
something like a butterfly
growing between them.
I carry a dead man with me
and keep him under the table
to shoot when I fold.
I call him Ronald.
He mingles down there
like a pragmatic shadow
with all the other dead bodies
paid for by the network
to keep costs down.
It's a cool job;
I grew my own bad-guy mustache
and met a really nice lady.
Her name is Nancy. Just kidding.
Her name is Lady Luck.

The Wizard

Where is my wand?
The snow is getting thick
and I want a dome to live in.
Wanda, I mean it
when I tell you
all this is evidence.
I mean it when I forget to mention
the evidence is against you.
I am sitting in the bedroom
trying to wipe the sky clean
from memory.
The stars are easiest,
then the planes, the clouds.
Green-light the owl incursion now!


Like a court-appointed mourner,
I sent plastic flowers
to the discount cemetery.
I found a pit over my heart, Sasha,
and I jumped mumbles
like important prayers,
birds when I imagined the distance
between who we used to be
and the voice I heard,
the hollow tide echoing.
I skipped rocks for a while
on dead fish beach,
tried to graph something.
Don't forget to promise me
you'll forgive the municipal gardens
for their opulent splendors.
All through the boring winters,
promise me you'll forgive
the blood I left your arms with.

Christopher DeWeese lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. New poems will soon appear in Cannibal, Court Green, LIT, Ninth Letter, and Notnostrums.

"My parents turned their front porch into a giant aviary for an African Grey Parrot named Captain Haddock. The aforementioned bird did not like my messy haircuts, thinking that my feathers were out of order, so whenever I walked into the house he would fly at me with the intention of doing some rearranging. In comparison, every other front porch I've encountered has seemed a beacon of relaxation. I still instinctively duck whenever I hear the sound of beating wings."


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