Portrait of a Father

Kyle Laws

That April we drove Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale,
by one slipshod stand after another that sold cigarettes.
Father gave me his leather case initialed KRL in gold.
I tapped Salems on the dashboard from the pouch.

The Miami Fountainebleau shone marine blue and green.
Beer glass broken in Cuba still washed up behind the hotel
as Frank Sinatra tunes drifted from the lounge where
we waited, Father with his camera, to catch the famous.

We sunned on the beach with other students on spring
break. I wore a long sleeved shirt to protect my skin.
Father got as dark as he could to look good in pale
sherbet colored suits with patent leather shoes.

Father was a gigolo, most interesting thing about him,
never really found anyone with enough money to keep
him in beer and film, his last woman a bookmaker
for the Philadelphia Mafia, practical, hardworking.