Golden State

By Bidart

To see my father
lying in pink velvet, a rosary
twined around his hands, rouged,
lipsticked, his skin marble. . . .

Ruth, your last girlfriend, who wouldn’t sleep with you
or marry, because you wanted her
to pay half the expenses, and “His drinking
almost drove me crazy—”
Ruth once saw you
staring into a mirror,
in your ubiquitous kerchief and cowboy hat,
“Why can’t I look like a cowboy?”

You left a bag of money; and were
the unhappiest man
I have ever known well.

. . .

It’s in many ways
a relief to have you dead.
I have more money.

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