Gambling Man’s Hat || Ryan Curcio

Gift shop visor slumps in solitude
on a dresser drawer. A booze fueled purchase
picked from the rack with irony attached to the tag.
Remnant, neon-blue light stored
from all energy draining Vegas casinos

still lingers on this dust-laden cap.
A slew of recalls flood the head that the
hat once sat upon. I saw much
from beneath my topless, neon-blue awning.
Have you ever felt alone in a room crammed with talkers?

Dinging bells and blinking lights yielded
orchards of silver into the hands of greedy gropers.
A Palace Bridge featured homeless
beggars who marched much terra to meet the dealer
of scars in Sin City. Hypocrisy unveiled in the form

of inside spenders and disdain
for outstretched fingers.
The hat, with its cheap cardboard
insert, still refuses to unhinge the stench
of a smoke-stick onslaught.

Hat in hand, mine still secure
around my hairline, a worn drifter vamped
a tale of despair into my facial flesh and bones.
The hat scooped the sound up
like a sonar dish.

He was possessed by a thirst for more bills
to feed a heartless machine, the same one
that vacuumed out his pockets and left him
in the crosshairs of antipathy. The void
widens across this strip of crushed souls.

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.

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