upon arriving at the bingo hall on a Tuesday evening in Nowhere

“Sheeit”, she says to me, “you better give me a muthafuckin winner tonight, or I’ll take ya’ outside, y’hear? Take ya out to the lot and shank you with a Swiss Army Knife–put a little hole in your kidney, yo, cuz’ I NEED that money, dawg, you know? I NEED that muthafuckin money”…And I do know b/c I actually work and sheeit’ I cain’t hardly pay no bills or feed no baby by my own damn self and I cain’t hardly feel nothing or see nothing but the red in my eyes and the fridge is empty and the boys in the yard they fightin’ over a mayonnaise sandwich, and I’d like to see her win some muthafuckin money, I’d like to see her smile like she used to back before towelhead mania, before Jethro Tull put down the flute–back when we was rolling in it, dirty dozens, and staring shamelessly into the sun; taunting it to shine, or not to shine…and I’d like to give her a winner, tonight, I’d like to call her a goddamn number but integrity is all we got in this place now, one of the few places we got it and one of many where we gets to lose it and I just cain’t bear to get cut again…not by her that used to shine like Old Miss Argenia’s Golden Lucky Buddha–not in here, where the pain is too great and the reward is too mighty and the sun don’t shine for us to mock…But I tell her, “I got you, sis, I got you” because lie is just a three-letter word and I cain’t hardly bear to watch her saunter away like that, shuffle off with her damn self and her lucky trolls and her damn numbers that don’t make no patterns no more no how anyhow, off into the middle of the fray, at her usual spot under the vast lingering spirit of a smoke cloud that eats hope for breakfast and drinks angry like a monk’s pen…

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