after my bones are soaked in kerosene—
and she is waiting outside the banquet hall,
under a faded black canopy.
She will keep an ace of hearts tucked within her leather skirt.
She will rack the balls until blue chalk stains her fanciest contours.
Then she asks a bar maid to call a cab.
She goes home and laments that I am dead.
It is like cigarette smoke in the trunk of a car.
Smelling it, you know someone
learned their lesson.
And on my wall,
where I hung
my paper cutouts
with mint green sequins—
She will bang her head until it comes;
The nightly terror or the grace I send.
And all of this because she tried—
to overtake my widowed life.