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You approached me with a thumbs up
and well-planned scam to sabotage my heart.
That's how it can happen in a saloon, and it
did four and a half years ago. I sat at a slot
machine in the corner, hit three red sevens,
and turned toward the bar. You left your seat
and came to stand beside me as if to encourage
my next win. You had a Madonna-like face
and green eyes that could spot an easy mark.
In a weak and generous moment I handed you
my winnings, and we slept together that night.
I knew that wasn't the way to love somebody,
but I didn't know yet that you were a user
in all senses of the word.
Nikolas Macioci was born in Columbus, Ohio and received a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He won a number of poetry competitions, including the 1987 National Writers' Union Poetry Competition judged by Denise Levertov. His publication credits include two chapbooks: Cafes of Childhood and Greatest Hits, six full length books of poetry: Cafes of Childhood (expanded), Why Dance, Necessary Windows, Occasional Heaven, Mother Goosed, and A Human Saloon. He has appeaared in more than 200 magazines such as Negative Capability, The Connecticut Writer, Mississippi Valley Review, Blue Unicorn, and Chiron Review.