Game Night

Five cards fanned between five
fingertips colored “mermaid-parade.”
This classical number, in cahoots
with a night’s chill brings me back
to my father’s house as a boy:
cold and hungry (for approval
as much as food) to the score of
baroque strains which, while beautiful
in themselves, were at times more
discomforting than silence—like
Vivaldi soaring across a work-camp,
teasing forsaken ears with the hint
of long-forgotten grace. I kid, of
course. I had it easy. But no one
told me pain was the mask of beauty.
Only then do we appreciate how easy
we have it, that to be alive is the
“everything” we ever, always sought.
We can grumble when we’re dead,
but not a moment earlier.

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