After Dinner

Lisa Pegram

What is said in conversation
when all of the women leave
the room? Satin glove slipped
from fist. An uncut deck of cards.

The men show their teeth. Mark
opinions like territory. Laugh
upside down, wrinkles shape-
shifting between stone, wood

and flesh. This cut & paste debate
sits in the shade of cigar smoke.
Sips dark liquors neat, no chaser.
Spans home front and auction block.

Laughter and shit talk roll
like distant thunder. Make bridges
of fragments. End in guarded
embraces as quick as they are firm.