Synesthesia keeps my honorary uncle
focused on the game; four is Merlot, nine
the dentin on his mentor’s molars.
A game of pool’s the way
I first learned to look a good
curve straight on, watched
my uncle’s oak-skinned opposition
sitting coked-up at the barstool,
steadied by the slow hoist of a cue
as he stood to take his shot. Green
was the sound of a hustle, cue ball
hop-scotched across a string
of solids, sunk for five grand.
Two-years-old and barely tall
enough to reach the rail when
I learned to rack. They said
my mother was a shark. She kept
my teeth in jade containers. Jade
and mean was how she played.