Thursday, December 6, 2018


the gambler

he comes in off the street

they all come in off the streets
when it starts to get too cold
and unbearable to make it work outside

he comes in off the street
with a scarf over his head
and a big, black coat with gray stains

a rusted shopping cart carrying his whole life

out of a tear in one of his bags
come the cockroaches
that had found their refuge in his history

they flee his nike cocoon and scatter

the people around him kick and flail
killing the indestructible beasts
with the blood-thirsty verve of their native selves

then they moan and sigh
and complain to me about him
and all of the dead cockroaches
now scattered all over the floor

as if this place where their own home

while he sits there
oblivious to the drama he’s brought

getting warm by the blue glow of a computer screen

playing online casino games with a grin
like he was a great gambling shark in vegas

or any another bloated member
of the drunken suburban gentry

pissing away his vacation days
slinging red dice on the corroded boardwalks
of atlantic city.

--John Grochalski 

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