God may play dice with the universe, in spite
of Einstein’s last hope, but a serious gambler
prefers no-limit Texas hold ’em. Tonight

our virtual dealer’s blue-black, red and white slur
will put me in position to win the next hand
(or will not) just as sure as the wet-on-wet smear

across this woven rectangle makes it hard
not to think stars and stripes now.
Dred Scott. Jasper Johns. My first pocket card

makes me ejaculate heartily, “Uncork more Widow,
Allah!” The next? “Thank you, God!” With Big Slick
(albeit unsuited) and a flop of whoa

I make it $800,000 to go, which would put you allin,
my anonymous friend, in this, my daily practice

of poker. Did our patriotic miracle shuffle
provide a third or fourth jack for you, Einstein
or Ahmad? Oh, yeah? Call me, Ishmael.

One Hammered American Looks
at 858-3 on 31 December 2001