Colin Dodds, A Declaration of War on a Lottery Ticket

Colin Dodds

And fortune is a whore
say the men
working the convenience store

But the names of the scratch tickets
make it clear that, though wicked,
fortune’s why we’re here

The rules change as if they were tidal
And all I want’s a star to steer by
But that false idol is nowhere nearby

Above the retail floor, above me and you,
the screens preach a new impotence,
proclaiming World War Two
and the heat death of the universe
a pair of unlucky coincidences

Give me a pope, give me a druid
The situation here is just too fluid
The screens say we can shove it, picket,
or write our woes on a lottery ticket

I get lucky, and find a war to start
Beneath the screens, I approach my fortress of a heart
Unsure whether I’m coming, as a soldier clown,
to fortify its walls or to tear them down

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