Evil Queen
by Chris Crittenden

ugly and unanswered,
she no longer sees herself
in her face.
each wrinkle a ligature
that strangled a sin.

some lines knots
caught up in how everything
came to this.
no kudos for outliving
the secrets in her bones,
or her critics who died
of disaster.

years have gone down
like poker cards, pretty faces
hostage to shovels or sex.
no one left at the table now
except Hades, who always
ups the ante and never fails
a bluff.

staring into his eyes,
blank as hell-fired chips,
she can feel their weight
and the little numbers
etched in granite.
this time she will lose,
even with diamonds
to play.

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