phantom dice

We play a game of pretend tail on the donkey,
aiming at a spot in the air that brays its anger
at being nailed by real-life birthday guests.
The fantasy is becoming all too real: we smell
manure, feel coarse hide shiver under our fingers.
When we fight each other in invisible Risk,
fake countries are occupied by actual armies
that threaten us with cannons and swords.
We drop a nuclear bomb on them, made of stray
radioactive thoughts, then try Clue as a way
to escape military violence. Mr. Plum's pipe
set ghostly fires that immolates Mrs. White
in the conservatory, while murder weapons
suggest themselves to left out players, unable
to blow on phantom dice that let others into
secret rooms where bad decisions are made.
They grab tight nooses and packed revolvers,
looking for those who'll die, who'll perform
charades of lost words not found in dictionaries.