Two Poems

by Jilly Dybka

Carnival of Souls

The bird-like woman
at the ramshackle carnival—
the only one riding
a roller coaster in the rain.

At the ramshackle carnival
the sparse crowd seeks shelter.
A roller coaster in the rain
has but one passenger.

The sparse crowd seeks shelter.
The only one riding
a roller coaster in the rain:
the bird-like woman.

Queen of Diamonds

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?