He scrutinized the members of the
Semi-circle. The dude directly
To his left could pose a problem.
He slapped down a wad
Of twenties and waited.
As the others considered to
Pass or don’t pass, he readied his hand.
He swore he was too slick for the youth
On his left to notice the blur of his movements.
Bets completed, he swept up the dice
With the same hand in which he
Palmed his loaded dice. He was an
Illusionist; using sleight of hand to
Roll the point. He kept on rolling;
Making sure his point was made
Until he rolled the point again.
After each roll, he would cut his
Eyes at homeboy on his left.
The brother looked at him with
Eyes like military-grade microwave dishes.
The kid’s glare nuked his innards,
Caused his stomach acid to boil.
Globs of sweat formed a trail of tears
On his face. On his next roll,
His dice slipped from his sweaty palms,
And he crapped out.
The youth to his left took
His money and took the loaded dice.
The new shooter tilted his chin at him,
Then tossed and caught the dice
With one hand. Smirking.
He doesn’t recall how long
Homeboy rolled or how much
Of his money he lost, but
He had enough of dude’s
Microwave eyes. He stood up,
Breaking the semi-circle’s formation,
And shouted, “This nigga cheatin’!”
The game was paused, but the
Players moved. Homeboy extended
To his full height in order to
Meet the charge. “Fuck you.”
No disrespect goes without punishment.
He whips out his semi-automatic
And points it at homeboy.
“Nah, my nigga, fuck you!”
The other players teleport away,
Leaving behind only the shooter
And the man holding the gun.
“Chill, bro. No need for this crap.”
“Shut the fuck up and give me your money.”
Homeboy’s free hand percolated
Towards his back pocket, then peeked
Around his denim corner, holding something black.
He reacted; seeing black and thinking gun,
Thinking death. He shot the shooter.
Put two rounds in his chest.
He snatched the money from
The abandoned game before
Homeboy’s body hit the ground.
Then he inspected dude’s twisted form.
He tore the black thing, the man’s wallet,
From his hand, then went to retrieve
His dice. Sirens sung to the night,
And he knew time wasn’t on his side.
Blood from homeboy’s wounds
Stained his rolling arm and the concrete.
He didn’t feel like cleaning blood
From his dice, so he let homeboy keep them.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen