Gamble

They placed bets with the spirit of all streetlights
in a pool of dark where no one could find them.
Its hands were cold like tiles in the Winter
and the webbing in between them was transparent
just like plastic but with a pattern that resembled
something scaled. They hitchhiked out there
across several Western states until in Utah
they were given a location.

They stood to win their whole life’s worth
or lose what they put down like it was nothing.
The clearing was surrounded by carvings that were
abstract and shapeless, but the wood was sanded
smooth so they looked white out in the night
and at a distance.
One of them has had a nightmare about losing
an eye since he first began remembering his dreams.
He kept that secret to himself because he didn’t want
his words to turn to waves that could affect
the way he saw things.

They were far from home that night but not afraid
at all because they knew they were the lucky ones
regardless of the bad luck in the past.
Bored on the walk back to the station they reminisce
about a girl they once rode in a train car with.
She would shave her legs with a switch blade
to pass the time and keep herself ready in case
any targets entered her sights.

Neither of them were ever so fortunate
still, there is a constellation up there somewhere
made of her, and as it grows and spreads
with the expansion of the universe
they will too, and the spirit of all streetlights
will be watching at a distance behind the collar
of its trench coat with just a deck of cards clenched
tightly in its hand.

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