Sitting street-side at the Zodiac Café, I shuffle my hand,
Scratching at my cheap scorpion tattoo. I turn out my coffee
Onto the real thing (a Red Claw) laying low in the gutter.
This displeases him, and he tells me so by rattling his sickle,
Percussing with his mouth-beaters and snapping his shears.
Here, the satyr/shop-owner turns out his sagged awning
With a splintered mop-handle and splits it by mistake.
The downpour is a biblical thing, sublime and scatological,
Gushing downhill and consuming everything not nailed-down,
Tearing up street signs and carrying off strollers.
A horse screeches, nearly de-saddling his hapless rider,
(Who nocks and fires helpless pleas in all directions),
Motivating a drove of cattle, who bolt off into the distance.
Just as all seems lost, an extrovert with leonine hair
And a first-rate tan hacks swathes into the shapeless creature
And is, in turn, trebuchet-ed into a loud clock-tower.
So, all remains lost. The water begins to spoil the land,
Mixing with the coffee and the compost.
The black ravine is now coursing, 12 feet high,
Enough, I’d think, to break the ribcage and crush the lungs
Of your average merman. Fate runs on ahead of me,
As he tends to do, urging me and everyone I know to follow.
He then trips and torpedoes into a storm drain, to drown,
Kicking and wailing, under a rancid, rising mud-sea.
Crabs nip at his exposed handles. Fish watch on, dumbly.
Letting out the last of his garbled death-sounds,
His legs jerk for the final time and droop, akimbo.
A waterlogged boot slips off to reveal a blue, bloated foot.
I watch on with my twin (both of us naked, orbiting
One another listlessly). At least, for now, it’s clean and dry
On the rooftops, we agree. Drunk on the drama,
We top up our cups at the new bankside and crack them together.
Here’s mud your eye, he says. Here’s mud in your eye, I reply.