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This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Two Poems Anthony Rudolf
The Card Players (1966–73)

Mesdames, Messieurs
the empty chair awaits you:
first come, first served

to your left, a trickster
card sharp,
                  to your right
a fortune teller

of the past, lying
ahead of you,
like a dream, a store

of menace, bought into
like a Ponzi scheme.
Watch your back,

Balthus invites you
to a game of cards,

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