January 2005 / Volume VI / Issue I
D.B. Cox

house of cards

whiskey-laced voice
of a sidewalk showman
stirs the night air
under a bigtop sky

vanishing coins…
shifting cards…
a homeless magician
works the boulevard

shell games
on a suitcase
covered with stickers
from this place–  that place

hustling & rustling
every crosstown bus
that drops tired faces
to congregate

like cartoon minstrels
with cinemascope eyes
ready to be taken in
one last time

before the last
subway car leaves
central station
& the flim-flam man

like the burned-out
letter on the sad cafe sign
just up the street

where he sleeps
in the back booth
& dreams
about the shattered

house of cards
he once called home