RAKLIN THE ROTTEN (revised)

RAKLIN THE ROTTEN
the Greek,
a lending shark
sharp short and slick
and black
no matter what was said
had a deep human honest
sense of humor
in a light hearted way
a serious and earnest
sort of way
making you laugh
every step of the way
even when you were feeling pain
because you didn’t pay,
had a chauffeur
named Raklin
Raklin the rotten
Raklin
grey thin brittle
coke bottle glasses
persistently pocketing
cream and sugar
from restaurant tables
a Racing Form in his back pocket…

“Frankie,” the Greek said,
“never once has that man
that rotten son of a bitch
kissed my ass or flattered me
having no love no joy
only contempt
even for himself
that he fuels every single day
by losing the money
i pay him
right back to me
proving to himself
if nothing else
that it’s all a rotten mess…
he robbed his mother,
no seriously, really,
so knowing this
i know i can trust him
he’s an honest man
in a strange sort of way.”

and then one day
Raklin the rotten
didn’t show for work
(where the fuck was Raklin?)
because he hung himself
amid boxes storage items
and filth
in the Greek’s basement
(the Greek occupying the top
7th floor)
no note
no shit
no nothing
empty
and every single day
in every sort of way
year after year
time after time
again and again
the Greek reminded us
with laughter
of Raklin
of his sorry existence
preaching
the gospel of rotten Raklin
Raklin Raklin Raklin
honest Raklin
this and that
god forsaken Raklin
Raklin the rotten
the only honest man
he’d ever met
and oh how we laughed
had to laugh
sitting there and laughing
again and again
never forgetting
able to forget
the story of
Raklin the rotten…

frank pulaski

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