for Robert Illum
My father can count cards. Once
he cheated the house out of so much
Blackjack, they threatened to kick him
and his teeth out. Good thing he always
knew when to walk away. By morning
his wallet was as red
as his bloodshot eyes.
I am my father’s daughter.
You can call me a slot machine.
If you pay me enough attention,
I will give you all of my 3 hearts
spill my insides and watch you
walk away to the next pretty thing.
My father is an engineer. He loves
blueprints and right angles;
machines that can easily be fixed.
I am my father’s daughter
but my body cannot be fixed.
No matter what he builds
he will never design something
better than a wheelchair.
I inherited his cheekbone,
but not his poker face
I know how big he smiles
for a straight flush; how
he protects his poker chips
like children. Continue reading