bet you a nickel

by Gabriel Ricard

When the lady
in white starts
getting something
out of her therapy,
then I’ll breathe
a little easier.

She needs to know she’s not fooling anyone.
Those videos have been circulating
since before the days of YouTube.

Nothing to be ashamed of.
Nevada has millions of roadside motels.
No one’s going to miss a few
that just happened to burn down.

And everyone always walked away
from their particular fallout free
of the burdens of virginity and money for college.

The money she made was substantial,
and now it’s all going into pills and a sensitive listener
who’s never worried about whether a bright light
could make him sweat a little.

When she gets it together then I’ll get it together.

I’ll lose those twenty pounds
and fit into
my contract killer tuxedo again.

I’ll save a fortune on being able
to lose my temper
without breaking every plate
that tends to wind up in the living room.

The show is slated for December,
and the room has been sold-out since the late 90’s.

I’m aware of the anticipation. I’m as calm as a song
about real feelings in a fictional locale. I understand
that a lot of people in attendance will wonder
just what in the hell they’re doing there.

Most of the dedicated may as well be strangers.

It’s been that long since I’ve shaken
some of their hands, asked about their children
and marveled at how we all managed to get grey hair so early.

The show must go on in December,
and some of the crowd will be new to the proceedings.

They’ll probably be of the hostile variety.
Success stories often are.

All the same I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Just wait until they hear about
the dream I had back in August.

Fall looked like Paul Newman on the ropes,
and everyone was taking to the roofs
of their apartment buildings to see if those weird lights
in the sky were finally going to touch the ground.

I was drinking coffee on one of those roofs,
wondering if it would snow just as everything changed
for the wonderful and completely free-of-charge.

That’s all you get.
See you on the eighteenth.


Posted on 10/05/2010
Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Jared Fladeland on 10/05/10 at 05:31 PM

This is the beginning of a novel. an ex-contract killer trying to hunt back down his lady in white, who is a youtube sensation after posting videos of her starting motels on fire. and group therapy. like mr. and mrs. smith meets a chuck palahniuk novel. seriously. a novel. i loved it

Posted by V. Blake on 10/05/10 at 06:52 PM

I want to know how you so consistently come up with brilliant sh*t like this. Seriously, it doesn't even seem fair.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 10/14/10 at 03:32 PM

this is not the first time, I will tell you, that you have a unique style which is like a divining rod of sorts, and it always manages to locate the H2O for us readers who are always sated in the end with gobs and gobs of such divination.

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