For Comrade Totsky

you grabbed me by the biceps
and made me curl up, you grabbed me
by the heartstrings and made me
tear up when our father left the family
after packing up his suitcases
and running off with that little mistress
called Advancement. we raised countless cans
and bottles to mindless things, to summers
spent dreading the heat and wishing the tourists
would find a new place to go. you taught me to say
something when you're drunk because dammit
that's when you're the most honest! you taught me how
to turn garbage into gold, a paycheck into a good time
and a teardrop into a cackle that echoes through
our empty halls.

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