The church bell tolls 12 times.
A tumbleweed careens down
Where is everyone who said they had my back?
At the intersection
dressed in black.
My feet shuffle forward.
Masked faces press against the saloon windows.
I wonder who betrayed Me?
The waitress who didn’t wear her mask over her nose?
The drunk Sacramento couple who wouldn’t wear masks?
The boardwalk creaks.
Grit in my mouth.
Unfinished list in my pocket:
A gopher breaks through the hardpan.
Where have all your brave words gone?
Nemesis’ ivory face
A barn owl screams.
It’s not over, until it’s over.
Nemesis sets up the table
unfurls the chess board
bids me to move.
White pawn to e4.