The Gambler

The tattoo's honest.
I've held
Aces and Eights
in my games.
Wild Bill Hickok
carded the same
when he bought it--
six-shooter holstered;
back to the door.
I've taken that seat
this time.
It's worth the stakes.
She's got potential
to bite like an asp
but I'm familiar
with wrestling fangs
and shanty Irish.

Don't speak to me
of gambling
if you've never doubled down
on a hand you couldn't win
without the Hand of God

or locked your door
behind the person
you pray to share a key with

I've seen the eyes
of men who've folded.
I'd rather take chances
choking on chips.
There's a face held in common
by those too stubborn to lose
and I wear it.

One day, hussy
we'll sing of this.

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