Billiards – Kevin Casey

“If you shrank the Earth down to the size
of a billiard ball, it would be smoother.”

–Discover Magazine, 2008



In the beginning, God racked up the planets,

and–dusting the Cue of His Will with the Blue

Chalk of Chance–the Inscrutable Geometrist

disturbed the quiet surface of the slate’s felt.


And from that first break, the spheres still chatter

against each other like polished bones,

career in erratic arcs from a side spin,

thud and shudder when a bank is struck.


With an opponent only imagined,

it’s no sport, but just a game, and He’ll run

the table in time, until the last ball slips

beneath the firmament through some pocket,

rumbling to stillness once the final shot is called.



Kevin Casey is the author of And Waking… (Bottom Dog Press, 2016), and American Lotus (Glass Lyre Press, 2018), winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Connotation Press, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column ‘American Life in Poetry.’ For more, visit

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