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Chess People

Chess People

If chess people were
the world, everything
would be checkered.

We would ride checkered
cabs down checkered
streets to arrive at our
checkered assignations.

Maps of our cities
would be truly rectilinear,
numbered and lettered so
there would be no mistakes.

According to your stature,
you could only travel
such rigid grids
in prescribed fashion.

If chess people were
the world, we would be
forever trying to mate
one another with logic
and spurious device,
winning and losing
or calling it a draw.

Some women would be queens,
both swift and extreme
in their power.

Certain men, in kingly repose,
would expect nothing less
than royal dedication.

Most of us would be pawns,
immured in the fray,
with slight hope
of transformation.

Each of us searching
for that perfect combination.

Appeared in Strange Horizons