My game.

And cards flick over revealing

their faces in honest, bare objectivity.


Naked fingers cold, curling unstained,

digits free of another’s untamed

scent that’s faded like damp sweat,

like dew under a mournful sun at noon,

grip the sim stiff objects of my attention.


There’s time wasted,

time drawn from my liver

by time’s long bow scraping the strings

of my deep despair as I borrow

a card from the fatigue blunted,

faceless pack as the hot and cold

colours fill the atmosphere

I fear:

a picture,

an image of life,

my life, etched on laminated paper.


The King of diamonds, full of life,

full of riches, a rotundity of joviality,

my mirror image, my antipathy.


A Jack, any Jack from the blessed pack

is the jack of all trades, but never the master.

His efforts to please turn to appease

the desires of the faithless harem.


The Queen of Hearts who holds all the cards

in her sweet clammy hands sings softly

from bright eyes whose vivacity

resides at the other end of Her suit.


The Ace of Spades, the loneliest of the lonely,

the card singled out as singular, the one,

the only, the decidedly lonely, defiantly alone.


Pick a card, any card, and lay it with its fallen

fellows and I will show you the length of my time

here in my space, my void and my fortitude.


I play the game, and play on alone in the deep black of night

with the curl and twist of a club or a spade dreaming

of diamond eyes,

and a warm, beating heart.



Malek Montag,

Rochester, 2017


Picture Credit: from, (My edit for mood)


About malekmontag

I am a writer and a wage-slave, and proud father of George Giraffe. I live in the UK, but I exist everywhere. My first stories were published this year (2016) in Short Stories and Tall Tales (Atla Publishing). Follow me on Twitter @Malek_Montag15. My Work is also available on
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