Poetry: Hustler by George Bishop

Photo by Jessica Lynn Dotson


I lost his eye long ago, but he still hawks
the corners of poorly lit moments, blends

cooly into his art of losing as he paints
luck on the face of every win. His blood

stirs when I walk the dog late at night,
pause at the only streetlight for blocks.

Watching dragonflies bounce from reed
to reed at dusk I can hear his ivory voice

mix with the click of a katydid, drop off
in the sun as it sets like a soft shot from

some opposite corner. There was once
a lot of green between towns, backrooms

littered with colorful lies and a nameless
hustler who passed it on to me. It was

a face no one could place, one with a plan
that only worked once. You could bet on it.

George Bishop lives and writes in Crescent City, FL. His publications include Carolina Quarterly, Cold Mountain Review, Border Crossing, Schuykill Valley Journal, and others. He received the Peter Meinke Prize from YellowJacket Press, and his most recent collection is One Dance from Future Cycle Press. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee.

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