Burn and Turn by M.P. Powers

my dad stinks like money
not because he has any
he’s been underwater
since the mid 80s

spent the early 90s in a cell
ran four successive businesses
into the dirt, and let me tell
you, there’s no salvation in fried
chicken S & L’s beepers
patiofurniture

not even my credit
cards – the ones
even I didn’t know he’d
pillaged – could save him

sixtyeight years old,
collars armpits pantlegs
mind stinking of it;
even his farts remind me of cash
that disgraceful
game he’s never grown
tired of

every weekend slipping
on his rolex and gold band
to make the people think things
that are not true
making his way down to the isles
casino

for another chance
and the little bit he has left –
poor dad,
holding out and holding on
to a frayed piece of dangling
thread

his dignity

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