Glasgow Smile

We'd been fighting
the entire vacation
as always. Not once
did we fuck on Key West.
At night I walked the strip alone
gazing into cathouses
and sifting through sharp trinkets
with sweat running down my back.
Hemingway's estate was impressive.
Direct descendants of his favorite felines
roamed the property at will.
I drank a beer at Jimmy Buffet's joint
and left a bigger tip than I should have
since the barmaid's smile
was close enough to real.

On the ride back to Miami
we went on an airboat tour
through the Everglades--
the world's slowest death
atop the world's slowest river.
Both of us considered feeding
the other to a family of alligators
though the photos don't suggest that.
There were too many witnesses
for our calculating minds to justify.

At the airport gate
I tossed my keys into a plastic bin
for a badged stranger to inspect
before walking through
the metal detector.
When I picked them up
I noticed an addition
to the janitorial clutter:
a brightly stitched seahorse
clung to one of the dozen rings.
I looked at her and smirked
ashamed of our transgressions.
We'd read at the aquarium
that seahorses mate for life.

I've grumbled when people
have asked about it since then
passing my keys back
with an eyebrow raised.
Last week it finally tore free
of the madness
mingled in the handful of change
I dropped on my dresser
at the day's lackluster end.

It took six years to undo four.
Nothing lasts forever--
even in the sea.

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