Casinos from Kowloon to Baden-Baden
Serve our breakfast on a silver griddle –
We who prop by night the gaming table
Not for gain but regain of our loss –

Cut and run if that is your good fortune
While no regret of wasted hand or mind
Detains you in a dawn’s ‘if only’ land
Nor midnight’s acrid haunted rumination

Eliot spoke to every poet’s gambit –
‘You may have wasted all your life for nothing’ –
The King of Hearts protruded from his sleeve –
We’d mark his card but all the cards are marked

From pain and pleasure lacking common measure
Fortune hurls our dice to untold ends –
Our limit she transfers to newer fools
For play and risk must animate the world

Pick a card – the cryptic door
Sought by calculation spins ajar
Offering what passes here for heaven –
A glamour cold as mirror clothed in lost repose

The world awaits your personal kabala
Assured no stark injustice may it change –
Perhaps a ghost eludes your every system
Like love that leaves no track nor stakes its claim

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