A New Game

Brittle decks of cards break apart

The numbers mix with the letters

The suits weave into a muddy mass

Of red, black, white, and gray


The dice are chipped and forgotten

Number wore off to a faint hollow shadow

They roll off the table and shatter

Into fragments of fun now forgotten


There is a new game in this room

Everybody loses, except for angels

You breathe, you rise, you fall again

When you stop breathing, God wins


The dogs try to comfort with saliva

From tongues that cleaned their nether bits

Tails wag and hit the next person

They too fall all around the same time


You never know a year or an hour now

Your brain decays piece by damn piece

You only know you’re awake and that

The coffee’s too hot and the water’s too cold


Faces annoy you, even those you once knew

But they don’t matter now, there’s nothing there

You gasp and choke on your own spittle

Your life shuts down, and God wins again


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway



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