Poem with Lottery Tickets and a Quick Shoe-shine

There's always still a row of shoe-
shine boys next to the lottery ticket counter 
at the market, which your classmate Mario's 
father used to own. Mario drowned 

in a swimming accident. Perhaps 
he's buried in an ocean region where yellow 
boxfish are holding a secret Yayoi Kusama 
exhibit, since the afterlife is only another room 

in a largely unexplored museum. Perhaps 
his fortune is to look at the moon behind a blue 
veil of water without being charged the standard 
entry fee, while we spend all our lonely coins 

on the dream of a future without chains or jails or for-
profit insurance. The shoe-shine boys sit you on a high 
wooden stool and hand you a copy of the day's newspaper, 
but you fall asleep. They'll slick the tops of your boots 

with wax and brush them to a glossy shine while humming 
salidummay. When you open your eyes, all the windows 
along the avenue are lit as if with fire. Don't worry, it's only 
the ancestors brandishing their torches at the apocalypse.

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