Venus Versus Veronica


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Emperor Caligula declared war on Poseidon and ordered his soldiers to thrust their spears into random, threatening, foaming waves.

i approach wearing only a gauntlet.

i slap her pale cheek with the heavy glove creating a small, bloody crack in her perfection.

i remove the violent hand covering.

naked, i toss it, and it lands on the cutting, shell’s edge.

offended, she tries to pierce my eye with her slave cupid’s arrow.

refusing to be blinded by love’s aggression, i duck my head and spit in her navel cavern,

i pounce on her and intertwine my legs with hers.

i indian leg wrestle her.

i flip that bitch.

she submits.

she offers no wishes. she is a defeated goddess not a genie.

she offers to answer one prayer.

“venus, please bring him back to me even if he never loves me or recognizes me. i just want to see his face one more time. i just want to breathe in the molecules that once caressed him.”

she smiles enchantment and answers, “no.”

i murder her and eat her hoping to take on her immortal soul.

she, like me and other women of sea origin, was soulless.

i eat love and am still empty.

John’s Vocation


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People want you around
when ya can clean things.

I walked miles through rain and snow.
I walked miles through depression and raw.

I’ve worked since I was fifteen.
I’ll be sixty one next week.

I’ve learned cooking, landscaping, and maintenance.
I’ve learned I can’t make you do.

I’ve seen people come and go.
I’ve seen people broke.

People want you around
when ya can fix things.



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“All babies come out pale. You know the way to tell if a baby is gonna turn? You look at the tip top of their ears. If the ears are dark, then the baby will be dark. Remember, Darnell’s baby? She was yellow as can be, and you know how dark as hell he is. And, now she’s dark too.”


She likes to look at all the church ladies’ hats–red, yellow, white with silver flecks.

Her eyes rest on a young woman without a hat.

“Momma, look at that lady’s ears. They are so black.”

“No, Rose, her ears are just like ours.”

“And her lips–”

“Rose Tyler Smythe!”

She freezes and doesn’t know why.


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