shuffle the deck

his cards lie on the table, face down

there’s always an ace in the hole

she knows

she’ll never find the king of hearts

looks at her cards

go fish, she’d say, but it’s the wrong game

he’s not looking her way, anyway

perfect poker face. damn him.

why on earth is she playing his game?

let’s up the ante, he says

really? again?

how many hearts does she need?

only one. but he has them all.

place your bets!

should she go all in, or walk away?

she could win the jackpot

but she’s already too far behind

still

the holes in her heart won’t let her go

dug with spades

but at least she can be that queen

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