He storms into the boys room, whips the clothing closet curtain back and hollers,
What the . . .
Girl . . .  no,  don’t you move a muscle.
Girl come in here. You gotta see this.

She shuffles into our room,
cased in her sadness cloud
and stands beside him.

Look at your brother. Is he crazy or what?

There I am on the closet floor, tangled
in the girl’s double Dutch jump rope, naked.

She grimaces, turns and leaves.

Boy, you are nuttier than a fruitcake,
just like your Ma.  Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!
Get up out of there, put some clothes on
and come out here with the rest of the family.

He slams the door behind him.


From my small dingy room I hear, ’Bitch you better get out there
and make my fuckin’ money or you will be sucking on something big and hard.
A leg off that God damn chair over there’.

A few minutes later the sound of her spiked heels
dissipate down the stairs.

My short stay was in the little hotel squeezed between two taller buildings
on 6th Avenue and 24th Street, where the night clerk liked me enough
to offer free hookers and heroin. I kindly declined both.