The roads here,
rum tongued, black toothed
and pitted, lead somewhere.
I am sure that over the peak of it,
splayed out like toes in dry sand,
tractioned for tide, a florescence,
maybe, maybe down in the abalone towns,
the oyster shot towns – in The Mother of Pearl,
where I met a guy,
a guy named Reason,
slim fingered and wrung
out at last call.
But there it was, he said “if” first:
“nothing really closes,
I just exchange doors for
carpets, throwbacks and
occasional tables – leaf down
and close to the wall.”
He said his name was Witness,
but I knew better, I knew better.
This cat was leather on tweed,
a pick-up line on a business card,
call me anytime. He had shacks
for eyes and his temples pulsed
like Patsy Cline.
He said he had a flounder’s way of lying,
flat at the bottom of things – loose silted.
If I needed, he said, the skipjacks
split at dawn, but that’s rarely the way
for land legs. And he grinned,
wide like a seiner.
They’re always there – these ones –
slumped for a schmuck
dipped out for a just a thud away
from home, down the rum tongued
road to Blacktooth,
where the Water and Sand
shutters before The Mother of Pearl,
where the windows flicker like barbacks,
and a girl named Treason ticks…