Monte Carlo, Mississauga

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.

This poem “Monte Carlo, Mississauga” originally appeared in Indigenous Focus. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 215 (Winter 2012): 137.

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