My dad broke the eight-ball the day I was born.
That’s what he told me, so that’s what I believed.
I asked him once if it’s OK to stick up your middle finger
at someone. He told me, “Sometimes you just have to.”
I used to think I might take up shooting pool. There’s something
about the sound of the break, the slide of the cue between your fingers,
the light blowing of the blue dust off the tip of the stick, that strut
to the white ball after sinking something in the corner pocket.
For the first twenty years of my life, I loved knowing I looked just like him.
I was as proud of that as I was of the Jr. I eventually dropped from my name.
Vine Leaves Literary Journal - April 2013