Smoke drapes itself in the dark like the stole of a preacher who’s paid off God. A deck of cards gets shuffled. The rhythm of the universe weaves itself into faces and numbers. Cigars wink their ends into flame, into electricity. Who’s to say what makes a moment. Is it to be found in the glow or graying plumes reaching out to caress absence or air? The deck gets dealt. A paltry hand. Chips smack themselves onto tables. Stakes higher than ever give rise to short intakes of breath. A shattering. Of self. Pieces collect on tables meant for games. Pieces stack themselves into bats never knowing flight. Wings only bear bones long enough to learn how a stole wavers in the wind, how the body may or may not awake from a cave.
Jake Bailey is a schiZotypal experientialist with work in The American Journal of Poetry, Diode Poetry Journal, Palette Poetry, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere. Jake received his MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles. He lives in Illinois with his wife and their three dogs. Find him on Twitter (@SaintJakeowitz) and at saintjakeowitz.xyz.