Dog Days at Mile High Greyhound Park
When the sun tilted, we went to the dogs.
Dad on fire to get to the track,
Mother tut-tutting, dressed
in her best black-and-white polka dots.
We piled in the old blue station wagon—
no dillydallying on dog days.
Blare of trumpets, uncaged dogs flare past,
muzzled, snarling snouts, eyes
glued to Rocky, the white mechanical rabbit
streaming ahead. My brother and I
pressed to the fence, wide-eyed.
My heart-pounding urge to bolt.
Orange Fantas. Tri-color cotton candy.
Sticky benches. Honey-thick light.
Cheering or booing, we followed Dad’s lead.
Yips when he won, barks when he lost—
the ground around us cluttered
with trashed tatters of dreams.
The long drive home, singing off-key
with summer hits. Or radio silence.
Dinner at the Lotus Room or boiled hot dogs.
Odds set by the thickness of Dad’s wallet—
my eyes fixed on the long ash of his Winston,
the smoke slipping out the window.
Black Leather Skirt
Once he stroked my black leather skirt,
his hand running over smooth
pelt, cured, fleshed, tanned,
dried and dyed, that body-covering hide.
Zipper so tight, I inhaled my belly
like a corset to avoid sharp teeth.
Night-animals, we flaunted, preened,
strutted and slithered in hot clubs,
slow-shaking to wailing saxes.
Out too late with the silver-laméd singer,
we tossed back shots of tequila,
my skirt and boots love-slick, lust-sick.
Zipper gapes now and leather is tattered.
I pet my skirt just once before releasing
the ragged skin to a rusty Goodwill bin.
© Angie Minkin
Angie Minkin is an award-winning San Francisco-based poet who stands on her head for inspiration. Her work has been published in The MacGuffin, Rattle, The Poeming Pigeon, The Unbroken Journal, and several other journals and anthologies. Angie is a coauthor of Dreams and Blessings: Six Visionary Poets (Blue Light Press 2020). Angie’s chapbook, Balm for the Living, will be published in 2023 by Finishing Line Press. Learn more at http://www.angieminkin.com.