At The MGM
after Patricia Smith, Detroit 2007

I'm in line for the ATM
behind a woman, who –
earlier, on the casino floor –
was stroking a blue-haired
troll doll for good luck.

& I guess it'd be funny
if it stopped there; if she hadn't
kicked & banged the slot
machine next to mine, abandoned
by the goddess of good fortune

like my friend Mikey's mom,
throwing what she could at the boy,
chasing him around a house she lost
to a fire from his carelessness.
What if 20 minutes was all it took

to lose $800, like the guy
at the craps table – superstition
urging him for fives face up
on each dice before they're tossed
over the green, felt surface.



- Alan King