The Man with the Mermaid Tattoo


The Man with the Mermaid Tattoo

He can feel gravity’s pull
deep in his heart
a graveyard echoes:
Not much to live for
now the kids are gone,
wife hooking somewhere in the city streets.
He pours a double vodka,
mixes it with the pulpy bits
in the bottom of a grape juice carton;
stirs it with a plastic Chinese take-out chopstick.

“No need to drink from a cup.”

The syringe is cracked;
the ashtray full;
the scabs over the mermaid’s nipples
on his forearm itch.
He leans forward,
kisses her full on the mouth:

“Never have your eyes looked so alive, my love.”

When the rat poison burns his blood,
he clears his throat, and coughs up bile;
he straightens his tie
because he’s got style.

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