Queen of Diamonds

by Jilly Dybka

Again the neon lights blinked their will, shone
over the lucky and the luckless out on
Paradise Road. I sleepwalked, not so alone,
inside the marrow of a dream, which I won

with dice and chips. I chased the scent of Chance’s
perfume through casino floor and bitter yearnings.
You strode with me, made nodding acquaintances,
and wore the shoes that you bought with your winnings.

It’s as if I am thinking of how Fremont
Street looks (just before the dawn) after being
inside the whole night. O Queen of Diamonds, won’t
you tender something up your sleeve for me?

Jilly Dybka has an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte and lives near Nashville, Tennessee, with her jazz-musician husband Darryl. Peyton Manning once was a special guest in one of her classes while she was a student at the University of Tennessee but he promptly fell asleep at the desk next to hers.