THICK, BROWN POEMS # (Unlucky) 13

EIGHT BALLS.

Table number 14 has a lean on the left, far corner pocket.

The cushions are warped on table 6.

Darkness rims the large floor space,

And weaves a grid of shadow between stout legs.

Chrome saucers stream from the ceiling,

Mute, motionless bells on stretched silver strings,

And the brushed, green felt holds steady,

Soft circles of light.

Each table becomes its own asylum under a glow.

The red and yellow yardbirds gather in formation,

And then disperse sharply after the shot.

Faces, varied by age and experience,

Slide in and out of the shadows.

Some crack whips,

Others guide timber pistons for a slow,

Effortless release,

And the ivory spheres slide across the surface on invisible strings to embrace.

The balls kiss and disperse, smash and dissolve and the chatter round the table is no more than a whisper;

A controlled exchange between strangers.

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