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betting against the house (death circumferenced)

by Rachelle Howe

your eyes were fish,
gills seething;
distraught.

i watched you
drown,
flail, and scream,
watched the water
engulf your throat.
you looked to me,
in desperation,
each red light glowing.

you were done;
you were done.
but
i watched you,

still, and writhing.
i could have tasted
the apathy in
your skin.

but
it was the noose,
and
you lashed forward
in last attempt.

(i could have turned
five cheeks like cards
and still, you would have
ended up
folding.)

12/27/2003

Author's Note: kim gave me her thumbs up for me to post this. ugh. like i said to her, i feel like i'm walking through a haze, and when i come out, my writing will be there, and this is the in-between. not QUITE writer's block, but mostly. mostly *slight chuckle.*

Posted on 12/27/2003
Copyright © 2022 Rachelle Howe

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 12/27/03 at 07:15 AM

i could have tasted the apathy in your skin....fantastic work, very potent, and spare, which is very effective. i am digging your "in between" phase. keep writing, keep watching, no matter the volume of the muse whisperer.

Posted by Karen Michelle on 12/27/03 at 09:47 AM

I'm not sure that I tell you enough how much I love your words. You have such a way with endings.

Posted by Kristine Briese on 12/28/03 at 11:18 PM

Again, you do this to me. Lord god almighty.

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 12/31/03 at 08:26 AM

this is not writer's block... this is genius... pure genius... now, deal me a hand... blessings...

Posted by Max Bouillet on 12/31/03 at 04:28 PM

I love the last stanza. That was quite resonate. The images in this are quite vibrant.

Posted by Ginette T Belle on 12/31/03 at 05:14 PM

"i could have tasted the apathy in your skin"...that line totally ROCKS...

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 12/31/03 at 07:42 PM

Captivating, evocative read Rachelle. Like poker face, not saying too much, leaving an appropriate part to the reader's imagination. A slightly alternate way of expressing that last stanza to continue the poker analogy could be: (i could have turned cheeks like five cards and still, you would have ended up folding.) None the less, well deserving of #1. Kudos!

Posted by Don Coffman on 01/04/04 at 07:57 PM

Hm. So here I come catching up with more reading and I see that you consider something like this writer's block... feh.
Anyway...
I'm gonna end up sounding like I usually do, but it's good and honest ya know? A really amazing bit of work. Succinct is a good way to put it, how your words can be so direct, nothing wasted, and have such a flow to them. The punctuation and emphasis fit in perfectly. I really can't think of anything that could make it better.

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