By Jay Baron Nicorvo
Deadbeat enters the courtroom without a toupée,
shirt unbuttoned to his navel, a gold V dangling
the Patron Saint of Audited Tax Evaders.
Son of Deadbeat wants to know why
his brothers aren’t here. His mother, a bankrupt,
answers, What brothers. When they’re all called
to rise, she touches his ear and tells him, Take
a good look at your future, and what he sees, years later, isn’t
presidential: the veteran asleep on the subway, the grave
oak that has always been there, an unstarred urban night
like a leather hood drawn over his face by an older man,
the last Hadrian, who swears, You’re going to love this.
Jay Baron Nicorvo‘s poetry, fiction, nonfiction and criticism have appeared in The Literary Review, Guernica, The Iowa Review and The Believer. He teaches at Western Michigan University, and his book “Deadbeat” was published last year by Four Way Books.
“Child Support Hearing” from “Deadbeat” (c) 2012 by Jay Baron Nicorvo. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.