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I Won You Lost

by
 The last of day gathers 
in the yellow parlor 
and drifts like fine dust 
across the face of 
the gilt-framed mirror 
I ofien prayed to.
An old man's room without him, a room I came back to again and again to steal cigarettes and loose change, to open cans of sardines, to break open crackers and share what he had.
Something is missing.
The cut glass ashtray is here and overflowing, the big bottle of homemade, the pack of English Ovals, the new red bicycle deck wrapped in cellophane and gold edged, the dishes crusted with the last snack.
The music is gone.
The lilt of his worn voice broken with the weight of all those lost languages -- "If you knew Solly like I knew Solly, oy oy oy what a girl.
" That music made new each day and absent forever from the corners ofrooms like this one darkening with dusk.
The music a boy would laugh at until it went out and days began and ended without the banging fist, without the old truths of blood and water, without the loud cries of I won, you lost, without song.

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