Barnacle en brochette

Barnacle en brochette


The fisher lady
in a fur-lined boat
mordant eye and skewering tongue
lodged in her throat
locks her gaze
behind the counter
across the parquet floor.

There two capering fish
gills flush with crimson folly
leaping and gasping
through the daunting air
rapture in the exotic depths
behind other eyes.

Lithe and gentle liars
splashing in the tippling churn
teasing new air
into a stagnant afternoon.

He comes out from the back
with whipped cream on his name tag
to find her caught midair
salt-rime forming beneath transfixing stare
as bidden she breaks the menu down
into atoms digestible by morons.

She feels the dull edges
the barnacle urn
calcifying around her.

He sighs into the back
as the musky light
that surely was God's promise
of cool flannel thighs
begins to fade.