at Newark Airport, April 2001
I dumped my sundries out
then stuffed them back into my bag,
the checker waving me on through.
Forgetting what I’d packed
in haste and slid in a side pouch:
my father’s blackjack for my son.
You couldn’t imagine a more reluctant
cop, one less inclined to cuff a crook
or brandish deadly force. Father,
save me from this shrunken
shaven head atop its elongated neck—
the wagging, weighted, long, black tongue
about to testify against me.
Photo By: Alan Levine