I liked to gamble back then,
had to have the perfect dealer,
searched hard for someone special.
With her I had a hunch.
She dealt with quick hands flashing
long delicate fingers, dexterous
as a slight of hand magician.
I peeked, didn’t want her to hit me,
not because I’d memorized the chart,
but that pair looked good to me,
a feeling, oh man, like love at first sight,
I thought . . .
Hawai‘i? I’ve always wanted to go there.
Love your shirt. Aloha shirt, right? Like Tom Selleck.
The tailored black vest, each silver button
comes undone, slips from her shoulders.
You’ve been practicing.
That slim sting tie tossed to the floor,
white ruffled shirt fluttering to the ground.
Like this buckle? Made it myself in metal shop . . .
Well, she said, what would you like?
I snapped out of it. Lord, I was all in,
every cent bet to impress.
I’d like to stay, I said, and prayed
she’d end up over 21.