Elective Surgery in a Gin Mill Outmaneuvered

She saw Sailor
on an off day
when his rash was acting up
bags as blatant
as cigarette ads
in vintage skin mags--
a cordoned off coronary
just under the skin.
Undisputed bragging rights
like knives that hold no edge
dug into in his forearms
from the oak that no one noticed.

The problem was the shift:
he stopped producing fiction
and lived the tales he told;
traced a vein in grout
while perusing an illusion
and traced his troubles back
to a list of secret names.

She lost him
when the room filled up.
Saturday tends to do that.
He found a choice
in midnight snack
that most would shy away from.

Like him or loathe him
starve him or clothe him.
If Old Scratch
and his ilk weren't there
someone would have to invent them.

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