His poker face doesn’t wash it with me. I can read his hands like I can read his mind like I can read the tone in his vocal chords. He gives it away, the invisible twitch under his skin. Occasionally he touches the spot unwittingly, sort of smooths his finger over an empty whisky glass, only that is not the receptacle covering the twitch, the itch, the hitch of that skirt that he’s lifting with the raise of his eyebrows.
She has a drug crazed look in her almond shaped eyes as the candle wax pours over the folds of her skin. She sucks in the pied piper demons that he’s shooting up his arm and caresses where the candle has burned her pale, thin body. He grabs her hair, just for fun. She smiles a frightened vacant smile, that no one sees, for a second her school photograph parallels her features, an ancestor’s hand turns it to face an equally pale wall. This girl is not known here. At least this way there will be no witness to the inevitable acts of depravity.
A glass wall hanging splinters to the ground. The exhibition staff scatter and scream. Exhibit 2. “Soul Mate”. The fusion of fluid souls in solidified glass. Fiery colours of lethal glass crunch under feet. The artist falls to her knees. That which she had en capsuled was again free to roam lustful nights and in the under muffle of her sobs she begged;
“Please, come back to me.”
What had she not wanted? What had she unknowingly turned away? Was it too unrealistic? Did she not trust? No, not him, only herself? The people stared at the grief in the welts and the cuts, like stigmata, in her flesh. She kneeled at his altar oblivious to the congregation. The shards made exquisite prism pattern compositions. The hall lit up. Suddenly the Holy Spirit was among them and they saw into the stained glass window of her soul.
“I’ll raise ya!” He drawls and places double the bets. All kings are equal, but whose hand holds the rank to lift the hem higher? Would that match her pair. The croupier bent, low, too low. A deliberate distraction. The twitch reveals this time he ain’t bluffing and she tips his opposition; that subtle brush of honey blonde hair behind the curve of a perfect heart shaped face to reveal a scar from his buckle, when she once lost him a game. The players shuffle their seat and lover boy folds. He doesn’t show his cards, so no one sees, he loses with a pair of sixes.
“That’s a mighty fine belt you have there, (lover boy)!” He notices with a respectful tip of his stetson.
“Whaddya say we play for the belt this round, (lover boy)?”
Her poker face doesn’t wash it with me. I see the twitch that she smooths her honey blonde hair over. The very spot I’m going to kiss before the light of this morning breaks.
“You’re sure raising the stakes tonight Cowboy.” He hisses, as the belt slides through its belt loop like a snake, coiled and rattled.
The Cowboy and Croupier read each other’s poker faces. She knows when her lover boy is bluffing and only she knows which one of them is going home with Nothing tonight.
He takes the hit from the works still stuck in his arm. The faded chaotic curtains have a gap revealing the curdling demon faces in the smoke of the room. He likes her mouth around him right then and after she’s waited and earned her turn. She gets it too, the trip to oblivion, through the self mutilating scars and unhealed skin. When there is failure to remember, the demons do their duty and cook it all up. As the hit opens her almond eyes wide, she sees her late grandfather beckon;
“This way my child.”
Meekly, she takes his hand and briefly looks at the life she is leaving behind. The photograph falls to the ground. Shards and splinters catch the light as they fall. Startled, her captor opens his eyes. Her almond eyes stare back revealing to him the stained glass window of her soul.