• Anxious Poets Society

Not Chess

It’s nothing like a chess problem, the toggling ardor, this advance and retreat; forward then back all black, white and cerebral.

It’s nothing like chess; like the leather hand stuck to a black bishop I saw in a public park, an ancient mind whirring overhead.

It’s not chess, but one could be forgiven for assuming it was that premeditated. More like a dance.

An ebb and flow, fluid undulation of hips he pedals her back. She retreats, persists, parries and twists;

she comes on again and he surrenders before regrouping to flit forward. The two wax and wane.

She was head and hands when all he'd ever known were girls made up

of wrist and throat.

Romances filled to the brim

with heat and steam that fissured and cracked when they cooled too quickly.

It’s nothing like chess in any way whatsoever, save one.

The Queen’s range of motion far outmatches the King’s.

And maybe it’s something of a game. Amusing, at least, when she quotes Hemingway: ”What do you want to do? Ruin me?”

“Yes. I want to ruin you.”


Daniel R. Jones is a writer from Indianapolis, IN and he received his MFA from Lindenwood University. Daniel has been published on various platforms including Aphelion, Black Rabbit Quarterly, Parody Poetry, the South Bend Tribune, In the Bend, StarLine, and Time of Singing. He was a 2017 nominee for the Rhysling Award with the Speculative Fiction Poetry Association and won an award for best poem in the 2013 edition of Crossings, Bethel College’s Literary Journal.

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