(13 January 1957 / Chatham, Virginia)

Eight Ball

It was fifty cents a game

beneath exhausted ceiling fans,
the smoke's old spiral. Hooded lights

burned distant, dull. I was tired, but you
insisted on one more, so I chalked

the cue—the bored blue—broke, scratched.
It was always possible

for you to run the table, leave me
nothing. But I recall the easy

shot you missed, and then the way
we both studied, circling—keeping

what you had left me between us.

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Really enjoyed this one.