A middle-aged man walks
a fluorescent street in Amsterdam,
high on hash, and purple haze.
He stops at the door of a leggy blonde
pacing her sexual cell.
The tag on the door says thirty euros,
a whore twice the price of cab fare
back to the hotel.
He opens the door and places the money
on a small table next to the bed.
He throws her down and exacts revenge
on his dead mother.
A small, bald man comes in after,
he takes twenty euros mechanically
off the table and leaves in silence.

When the customer reaches his hotel
and smokes his last cigarette
he pays 28 dollars to connect
to his father in Cleveland
They talk away what seem the entire
six months before the cancer ate
the remaining half of his liver.
A disease he was convinced passed
through the cells of his mother,
who had lost her last stand
fifteen years before.