i trace my
fingers over
the carved
ivory figures
finding the pawn
feels most
fool like of
all the pieces

i don’t
this disconcerting
new hand
being played
shuffled into
the deck
a joker amidst
the face cards
back broken
by the indifferent
disregard of the
disgruntled dealer
forgotten as soon
as the river
is revealed

buried beneath
a landslide of
bored games
with scattered
rule sets
no one bothered
to explain
seemingly expected
to both fail
and succeed as
dictated by those
who initiated
the trials

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