I miss Lindy and Noel, and little Leo.


was a gift from Angus, came with his new Harley
which no ladies deigned to perch their buttocks on
and was therefore sold minus the shirt--
net cost: three thousand dollars, I wear the money
in my sleep. The black braid flowing from the man

herding dice at the Squaxins' Little Creek casino
cost two hundred thirty-five, well worth it
for the word "croupier." Work seven months on a poem,
then you tear it up, this does not pencil out,
especially for my mother, who ate potatoes

every day from 1935-41. Who went to the famous
Jackson Pollack show after the war--sure, she was a rube
from across the Harlem River, snickering
at the swindle of those dribbles until death squelched the supply
and drove the prices up. I've known men

who gave up houses worth half a million just to see
the back of someone whom they once bought diamonds.
And I've known women to swallow diamonds
just to amplify the spectacle of their being flushed.
The Gutenberg Bible, OK, I get that:

five-point-four million dollars for a book of poems
written by God on the skin of a calf. A hundred years ago
the Squaxins could tell you easily
who the rich man was. He'd be dressed in a red robe
made of epaulettes from red-winged blackbird wings.

--Lucia Perillo

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