I met your ante, eager to involve
myself in overtrumping you. I flinched.
Your level gaze unsettled my resolve,
and now I find my thin composure benched.
No upturn-cornered rosebud lips betray
your boldness, perched in Mother’s shopping cart.
How can you be so blasted calm? I’m prey
to eyes with no propensity to dart.
I’m stuck behind you at the checkout stand,
you liquid-lidded angel. Clear the aisle —
I may as well cash in my chips. (This hand
won’t help me make a brown-eyed baby smile.)
Your halo isn’t gold; it’s burnished red.
If stares were shards of metal, I’d be dead.
2002 Mary Boren