the game

“That’s exactly what I said, my dear,” said she.

She permitted herself the little endearment now and then with an ironical inflection, as one fearful of being robbed might show a diamond pretending that it was paste. – E. Nesbit, The Incomplete Amorist, 1906

I saw your face
when she walked in. I saw
the way you nodded and gave
a little wave, and She
didn’t seem to notice.
I saw you looking at her
out of the corner of your eye
and to anyone who was noticing
you gave it all away.
but no one was noticing,
except me. and I have no
right and no reason
to even be looking.

I’ve been reading a lot of
Victorian romances lately.
it’s all a game, and
right now, my dear?
you’re playing to
lose. I know, I know
I’m one to talk; when it comes
to you I’ve lost
the game time and time
again, I showed
my hand too early and
too often, and anyway
it’s all moot now.

but I see how
you look at her,
like a starving man
outside the window
of a steak buffet dinner.
I bet anyone who
has eyes to see
could have seen
that hunger in my own gaze
a time or two, if they
cared or thought
to look.

I go out to the bar.
from the next room
comes the sound of
someone trying
way too hard. I can

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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