You moved upon me,

White Queen, with advantage

across the black and red web

a stinging albino spider

self-proclaimed white widow

who pales charcoal pawns

unhorses ebony knights

dismantles impregnable obsidian rooks

sins with the dark bishop

beheads my raven haired queen

until, cornered,

the black king bows

there are no more moves

the black king bows

and the clock

in the white rook tower

peals midnight

as the black king falls

But it is infinitely more

than checkmate.

The pristine snow White Queen

owns all the pieces

even blushing red squares

where black kings die.

In the next life,

if there is one, I,

I will play the white.

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Richard Hoffman

Today I'm smoke up the chimney over ashes of trust
and I don't see a Phoenix egg down there, do you?


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