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My Father’s Feet or Author’s Notes on “Liquid Amber” Haiku

Those size fifteens

will be the death of him.

But I’ve got to start with his heart.
It blows like a smoke alarm
unable to decipher the difference
between dust or fire-
(money or family history
can easily set him off.)

Can’t fight self-medication:
vodka & orange juice/the booze gets
“hidden” – liquor-store-brown paper bags
above the pantry where my mother
keeps cleaning supplies.

jazz is math & math is god.
Powell, Bird, Mingus, Monk.

My father used to sit and cry
playing seventy eights
(that shit’s so beautiful!)

Years of tears & little “tastes”
diabetes is a vulture
plucking at the bottom of his
big black feet.

vodka in a bag
crisp liquid amber leaves
can’t hide fall