Last of the Barbary Lions
There’s no Hippocratic Oath for vets;
in this world a man is what morals make him. I’m indentured to a thug
with a pocket full of mobile phones,
two weeks into a handshake pact of pills and powders.
I’ve been paid to wait, collude
in the plaza haze, my feet
kicking alleys of August wind.
Perched on a stool in Calle Melo’s limestone glower,
watching ocean and sea blur in the Strait.
I’m doling tablets to door knocks,
cutting chorizo with a necktie knife; listing
on a nightly lullaby of horse tranquillisers.
I breathe in the dry air, breath out
a stem of opioid desire
and settle at the bar,
petals in my mouth.
This is my last night swallowing broken Spanish,
feet on the solstice line
a half step ahead of winter shade.
The ferries from Morocco
are on endless loop, red hulls
split sky and sea.
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