He was the last cowboy in Massachusetts,
stabling the palomino in his mother’s garage,
buying a saddlery on Route 3A
when no one in fifty miles listened to country.
He slouched through our childhood,
driving a tractor-trailer to the front door,
tooling around for a week in our push-button Chevy,
pedal to the floor to “burn out the sin.”
Later he bought a sand farm west of Tucson
and lived in a menagerie of wounds.
His gray wheezing cat looked stuffed—
a dog with a confidence problem, perhaps.
From him I learned pornography
and the silence of the straight razor.
Virginia Quarterly Review