The Mermaid & the Octopus One was myth; the second real. Two views in the bathroom mirror. A: a wish for placemats at a normal feast. B: the truth of wasted flesh that fate had stolen rubies from. In amputation's acid sea, a leg is just a tenacle; motion rules the issue fire. The nipple will would twist itself to meet the ardor or her limp. Lonely, loveless onyx black would turn to slick and teal mermaids basking on uneven docks. Knuckles pink and turning pale-- white circles of a curled shrimp. Even though the ground was hard, the pearls of his arms were soft. The waves were less like acetone and sand seemed not the rock it was. Roses on a Closing Grave My fountain pen, a private quill like tongues that hate a broken tooth but keep on coming back to it. In those holes the ghosts undress and leave their issues on the floor. The pencil trace around a finger. The siren of and ambulance that doesn't quite undo a wreck. Its presence has a comfort horn. The blare of human thinking hard in ditches building caves to dwell. Its music not of certainty. The taste is not of absolution. Just of meager sculpted clay. Still its silkworm somehow there-- like roses on a closing grave. The Salmon Run The stretch of disabled is a salmon run: all upstream through cruel rivers banked with eyes. Its ruby pink frustration flesh determined to dance around rocks that keep it from the hatch of life. The gurney goes to surgery as guts that meet a table knife. I have to work around my limbs. You could (if you wished) walk away from fiery skewers of circumstance, but choose to stay for reasons that I can't explain but always need to celebrate. What distinguishes hope from the destiny of a dead fish are hands your size that soothe the hiss of aging bones. I know I wear these courage rings as collars on a stiffened monk. Under white lives helplessness. Beneath them lies a bitter boil. Fiddles of sarcastic tunes are ways I doodle in the snow. I haven't told you quite enough: your loving arms do dwarf the pain. This hospital tag is a bracelet of fate. Upon the tails of hurricanes, attached to one more round of knives, my tongue will always crave your touch, like pitch on thirsty Christmas trees. My stump a pretty stale baguette; scars are ugly swastikas on bands of antsy arms. They don't belong (but have a gun); tie my hands behind my back with bullets of a worried breeze.