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At the age of eighty, with a left hand
Uncontrollably shaking, oblivious
To his twenty years to go, Miguel Completas
Jackpotted nine million. His money came to him
In a dream the morning of the win.
It had a moon-shaped head of flapping green notes
And limbs of fives and fifties, that skipped loose to sail like leaves
Away from its body and past Miguel’s nose:
Fresh, bright notes of primal green, on a body
Of glowing papier-mache – the money stood
Hands on hips in the yard below
Miguel’s flat, round-headed and faceless.
‘Well, Miguel, you seem quiet – aren’t you pleased
To see me?’ Miguel sat on a bench.
His foot was tingling. ‘Fifty years
I called on you, you stupid fuck,’
He said. ‘Why weren’t you here
When I needed you for Calderon’s
Transplant? Or when I got fired by
The evil Francisco? Or when I wanted to send
Benito to college?’ The money
Slapped its forehead. ‘Miguel,’ it said. But Miguel
Had lit a match, and he brushed its crunching flame
Along the money’s hips, and the money
Was engulfed, soundlessly.
In the morning Miguel awoke worried,
But in the evening the money came, unoffended.
Published in The North, 2003