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As I was splitting a pair of queens to double my sawbuck bet,
someone said “He’s here,” and here he was—four bodyguards
to part the waves, a blonde bimbo on each arm
with whom to swim. I swiveled in my chair to greet him,

held out my hand—brushed back by one of his goons.
“Don,” I yelped, and for a split second he did cut his eyes
my way. Our table got a thumb’s-up sign, and then
the man was gone. I checked myself for wounds:

in the shell crater at mind’s center, I sought poor
India, the formal garden at Agra, that temple and mausoleum
of white marble risen from love and love’s passion,
but in the green and ringing light beneath this ocean,

I was all shrapnel and blood, but lived,
so signaled a veiled servant for another rum & coke,
turned back to blackjack, bit and broke both bands,
then left to give my last two C-notes to the slots.

William Heyen