I come from a long line
of cruel, black-haired tyrants.
We ruled Eastern Europe
and played tennis on the lawns
of our bold enemies
with their dripping kidneys
for shuttlecocks.
Our brown castles bulged with
thick upholsteries.

We emptied the local coffers
and bought wild, outlandish suits.
Uncle Tornejo was known as
The Hat because of the one he
had made, in Paris.

We had vendettas as old
as the bread in your fridge.
Funny then
I have no qualms
about turning you out
that night
in a questionable footnote
the wine a red mark
on your full, upper lip.

Brad Ricca was born in Cleveland, OH. His first book of poetry, American Mastodon, won the St. Lawrence Book Award and is available now from Black Lawrence Press, Amazon, and a variety of other places. He has had poems published in The Kerf, The Coe Review, 6ix, The White Pelican Review, Luna Negra, Caesura, Monkeyspank, Black Dirt, and Albatross, among others. He has a website at americanmastodon and tweets @BradJRicca but doesn't really know why.

© Copyright Brad Ricca 2012