Figuring risk, blood is thicker
Than statistics, and so
Dying paused, lawyers dicker;
Veins still flow.
The stakes of uncompleted games —
How shall we award them?
Numbers fade, and all the gain’s
With sharers of fate, the root of consortium.
Ah, Love, you’ll beat the odds;
Pairs win at cards, hearts at astragali;
And Venus, actuary of the Gods,
Will pay your claim: the ultimate lack of me.
NOTES for Students of English
With sharers of fate, the root of consortium – “Consortium” is from the Latin consors, “one who shares the same fate,” companion, partner; from con = with, sors = fate, share. Although consortium today usually means a large business venture or cartel, it is also used more obscurely in the legal phrase “loss of consortium” to mean the loss of sex due to injury to one’s spouse.
Astragali – (Pronounced as-TRAG-a-lee) The plural of astragalus, the ankle bone of animals such as sheep and goats. Astragali, also known as “knucklebones,” were used as dice in antiquity.