Avoiding the stares of the jokers
arranged around the common room,
I shuffle through the (full) nuthouse
in a suit I didn’t choose.
I’m nearly decked by a crazy eight
pretending to club me as he’s drawn away.
Our dealers serve us remedies on
plastic trays in plastic cups;
I used to admire their shapes,
round, oval, and diamond,
but now I just swallow them up.
They are black and red and burn on the way down.
A lot of the others will hold, flush, trade their pills–
fold them into secret places–
hide them close to the vest.
They become poker chips.
The others chatter: bartering, bargaining–
dreaming of one day finding a spade
to dig themselves out of here.
But my cards are on the table–
pure white and soft.
I have no heart to play.