sure bet

S U R E   B E T
my ode to materialism
by Charlotte Pratt

presentation is perception
so put on your best dress, honey —
appearing, in calculated deception like a
slot machine: a stockpile of money.

in dance inputs of small change
with expectation of high reward.
absent are fair terms of exchange
for the luxury they soon discard, bored.

painting on a poker face,
flaws concealed at a price,
to lure those who crave the chase
into a temporary false paradise.

but soon weary lines grow deep,
too pronounced to conceal.
the weight of pressure to upkeep
is a shallow focus; nothing real.

asphyxiating beneath ceiling glass
comes a solemn resignation to the fate
that ageless beauty has come to pass,
a lesson learned a little too late:

that you may ride the streak of lucky seven
and curate a life of precise design,
but you won’t ascend the heights to heaven
if your high is dressing to the nines.