The Splintered Dock

A fish flops on a splintered dock until
the wood starts to rake the scales off
its side. The fisherman is drunk and laughing
at the top of his lungs, which are worn down
from the residue of numerous cigars.
Worms tangle themselves together in the
bait box and believe wholeheartedly
that Styrofoam is the edge of the
universe. A few geese bite at each other’s
necks over some bread and raw hot dogs,
and the children throw crab apples at them
while eating Popsicles that stain their fingers
red. A man out in the middle of the lake turns
off his boat’s loud engine and throws himself overboard.
With his goggles on he can see all the women’s legs.
They kick him for staring too long and make red
smoke begin to pour out of his nostrils and rise
toward the surface. As he sinks the bleeding
cloud morphs into the face of a demon,
and it laughs at him with sunlight
at its back.

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