Susan Romance

Gambler’s Luck

I have been to the afterlife—

not heaven or hell, but just

after (and, yes, I am still alive).

The afterlife that’s

been fed to the living is

a lie, there are no heavenly

pits where fires arise. No,

the afterlife is a casino.

Flashing lights and

blinking noises, the dead sit

around tables, gambling away

memories from the future.

There are no clocks

in the casino (as is tradition),

one spends a lifetime searching

for the soul out of their grasp. I found

him sitting at a blackjack table

(my favorite), and he lost

my high school graduation on

a bad hand. But when

he strikes twenty-one, my future

is in his palm. He smiles, but suddenly

I want more, I want to know if he

remembers the weather on

the day I was born or what

the last gift he gave me was.

I need to speak to you

one more time, but the moment

my hand is on your shoulder

I find I am no longer

in that casino, but instead, at a

lakeside grave and in a future

gambled away.

Susan Romance is currently a junior at SUNY Geneseo, with a major in English and a minor in film studies. She splits her time between her home in Cheektowaga, NY and Geneseo, and enjoys writing poems, listening to music, and playing with her cats.