By Emily Fragos Emily Fragos
The old men with too much gamble in them, whose eyes

Are at peace only when all is lost, see the Queen's quiet face

On the deck of cards, the red cuff of  her cloak, the raw tip

Of  her tongue, the blood on her dress    . . .    What fled from them

In their frenzies comes tiptoeing back, choiring, to the marble

Concert hall where Nemesis, in velvet opera cape, is beginning

Her recitative: it is your turn to go slowly now, with hands

clasped behind your back, drowsy from the earth's sweet

abundance and her great deprivations, the rows of crooked trees,

the streets' bright monotony, and gather up the starving . . .

Source: Poetry (October 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2007


Emily Fragos is the author of Little Savage (Grove Press, 2004). She appears in the film The Fortune Writer and teaches poetry at New York University and Columbia University.

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Poems by Emily Fragos

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Theater & Dance

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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