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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Skid Row Profiles 2: Tom, The Fish Salesman

(Linda had a cleft palate as a child. This makes people very emotionally vulnerable as adults.)

by Susan Fox

You swim in currents
of disguised insecurity.
You are cold and slippery
like the fish you pull daily
from the sea.

So one night
you popped out of the bar room toaster
and attempted to seduce
my friend, Linda.

I am the man – dressed in white,
sitting at the foot of her cross,
a broken glass in my hand
and spilled vodka on the table.

You are kissing her.
She is melting into kittens;
an old wound reopens,
tonight, she knows only desperate need.

Near the table,
there is a fourth
and malevolent presence:
years ago -- the woman who refused to mother her.

With persuasive phrases,
an open and an honest face,
you proceed with the need to defile her,
as you have been defiled.

Linda does not comprehend:
she gives you both,
Mother and lover,
easy access to her soul.

But you have forgotten me—
the man standing in white –
I am held close by
and my love is stronger than jealousy;
it is stronger than shiploads of tuna:
your anger and your fishy need.

Take your greedy violence
And all the blackest storms you can pull from the sea.
She belongs to God,
and therefore she is kept impregnable.

The press release concerning these events of Sept. 12, 1979, said simply:

“Raphael bound up a demon in the upper regions of the Olympic Peninsula.”  

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