Mike Jurkovic


A feast of salted, dead fish
is no way to welcome me
into town. Into the bosom
of your melancholy. The dark caucus
in every room.

I’m not some hick, y’know,
or some ballyhoo from Tuscaloosa
selling you the molly.

I come with tinctures
and tired, old jokes.
Like the one about the politician
who drops his pants to filibuster
and winds up on YouTube
with fifty million hits.
Or the one
about Jesus,
and the redhead
that had Galilee a-twitter.

As for the tinctures: They’re pure,

I’ve been dealing forty years

so you’ll get what you want.

We’re all gonna die soon

and I’d like a lot less weight to carry
past the toadstool guards and
fascists slashing covenant.

I gotta stay light on my feet
so no, I won’t be staying
for the memorial dinner.
I met the deceased briefly
so I hardly knew her
and the morsels she’d employ.

But she was a kindred spirit
I suppose. Coming into town
and leaving with a rep
longer than Highway 61.
Gangling like salmon,
swimming uphill,
Getting harder, each year
‘cos the people do. Get hard.
Not of phallus, but heart.
Not of nipple, but from
the lure of free shipping,
of which, with her passing,
I mine without censor.

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