Friends, in a circle, are seldom Found

and yet, we go to these tables, with poker-faces

and play the game, of no touching

of not saying

anything

of not revealing

dirty hands we were dealt

in life

or the friends we discarded

or the games we folded

praying

and not playing

the game.

Johnny wins, because he keeps his own counsel

and his friends

are held in his hands

Suicide Kings

over Jacks

a full house of friends.

Nobody flushes his toilet

in his house

without his permission

and no Queens bitch about the toilet seat being up

because Johnny loves himself.

He doesn’t

abide Jokers

in his deck

messing-up

his mathematical game.

These gatherings

are not to make friends.

Suckers play

to suck,

hoping to attach themselves

to a bigger fish

but Johnny has evolved,

walking around on two feet—

a whale

that no longer wants to swim

in water.

He doesn’t need schools

He just is, Johnny

He knows

the game

the gamble

the ace up his sleave

fuck everybody.

Nobody can beat that—

not when the game is poker—

they pretend

it’s something else.

Johnny doesn’t lie to himself

but he lies

to everybody else

bluffing

testing

his enemies

with his eyes.

He owns the game

because he traded his soul

to the dealer

to become

the perfect player.

What will you trade eternity for?

Anything?

What life will you live

over and over?

People can’t wait to die

No, that’s wrong—

they were never

alive.

If this poem is judgmental

maybe,

fish weren’t meant to walk on land

but this fish does—

he refuses

to flop around

like a fool.

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