Blackjack

By Liana DeMasi

I wish I could lie
And tell you I had been in bed
When she came to me,
Arms outstretched,
Bangles clashing against porcelain, 
Poking out from her freshly-tailored suit. 

But I was a gambler.
I had not been in bed;
I had been sitting across
From the devil
Dressed in red,
Staring at me with blue eyes and a curved smile.
I tell you,
They do not portray her accurately.

Her horns
Are not visible,
But her laughter is, 
As you put down another bet, 
As you order another drink,
As your hand caresses the table
Similarly to as you would her. 

So no,
I will not lie
And say I was in bed
When she came to me,
Arms outstretched
And defiled
Whispering directions
With no return address.

I told her
I was not ready
For Emily's carriage
For it was not my time
I was still dancing
With the devil
Still betting
With the rest
Still drinking
With the sinners.

She smiled
And continued to whisper,
"We do not pick
The date."

But I urged
I was not ready
For I still yearned
To be fearful
Of cobwebs
And to look the wrong way
As I crossed
The street. 

She took her arm
And placed her hand around my glass
Taking her other hand
And placing it under my chin,
She poured the whiskey like holy water
Down my orface. 

The lady in red was laughing; 
The man next to me frowned,
He too was not ready, 
But we never are

"I am not done,"
I pleaded,
Whiskey dripping down my chin,
Gambling chips falling off the table. 

"My child,"
She said,
Black lace falling from her suit
Red curling beneath her chin,
"You lived like I was never coming,
Yet I am always here." 

Unwanted prophecies
Warranted truths
The devil laughed,
The man frowned,
I pleaded,
As black lace wrapped around my throat, 
Squeezing whiskey and life from my pores
As I faced my final bet. 

Liana DeMasi is a writer and teacher living in Astoria, Queens. Much of her work explores the human condition, mostly because she learns more about what that even means on the daily. She is a dreamer, a lover, and a cynic. Find more of her work and ideas here: https://frommynotepadblog.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram @lianademasi