Deal Dealt on the Wind

After placing the last call
I shrugged up the window,
nodded to the stalling sun,
and whispered goodbye.

Then a flight of cards jumped
like a slow-motion spell
from my grip.  Springing
into the expectant sky,
fifty-two blue-backed chances
framed in white lifted off–
each one chasing another
above the lemon cabs below.

The cardboard rectangles
winked back at me, flirting
and teasing in playful arcs:
tumbling red, blue, red, blue,
black, blue, black, blue,
diamonds and spades, heart and clubs.

The bloom of Bicycles
caught the wind and inverted:
a plume of fortunes sucked upward,
crested gracefully, swooped back.
The three of hearts alighted
face up, four floors below:
crystal crisp red on white,
glistening on a damp ledge.

A startled pigeon jerked its head,
acknowledging the silent arrival
of the strange, flat masterpiece.
Could this be a treasure — or should
the triangle of hearts be left to rest?

Trailing its cascading cousins,
the last card leapt: the two
of clubs, a pair of black bruises
in a small white space.

Empty, my hands dropped to
the cool concrete sill
and I gazed at the dispersing
cloud of somersaulting suits.

Traffic stop-start-stopped below,
as fates fell on windshields,
in shopping bags, on stroller seats.
Eyes cast upward, wonder spread,
and cards drifted to eager hands:
a deal dealt on the wind.

Then a king and queen waltzed
proudly through the last few feet of sky,
and I thought again of you.