Twilight drifts into evening. Colors

slowly fade into black and grey.

We sit staring past our cards at each other.

You rise to turn on the light, yellow

and flooding the room. My queens light up

with Mona Lisa smiles. Tonight,

at last,

I have you at my table, and yet

I’ve lost you. Now,


you’ve made your play. (It’s up to me to do

something remarkable.) I laugh feebly

and fade into my chair. The

bougainvillea stretches above us, its long

vining branches hung with teardrop leaves. It

quivers noticeably at your glare.

After you leave, I stand

staring in the doorway

at the vibrant black night until your footsteps

fade away.

The door smiles as it closes.

by Cher Bibler