For my girl up north who I was going to see for the last time, who told me always I was nothing, I did it, went through with it; I became King, once.
In a dirty bar of a dead eastern fish town, where I stopped to drink some courage out, I was taken by an old fisherman for a past fabled famous seaman’s son. A fine old captain, he said, who stabbed his wife, pregnant with me, fabled to have left her dead, with the knife which went into her and across my face, when he cut me out and took me with him out to sea. The fabled seaman had been fabled to have been swallowed by that same sea, and in the last moments had left me, the baby, tied on a wrecked drift board set out to float the world.
I was born in a suburban bathtub, and have never waded into any water past my waist. With a few more rounds of the dirty bar rot, the seaman and his company fast took me me to the mayor for examination, and at the other end of the bar, I was fast confirmed. I was it, by the slice up from my lip to left ear, which was really put there after a bet I wasn’t fit to see through; I was the long lost one. A parade was held.
I considered my past with my girl- unemployment, STDs, wild hot loving, some drugs, fistfights, some gambling, our bad teeth health, her sometimes-tender ways, and my smoky singing voice. I had no looks, so those other things were the ones that held us on one another, each complimented or complicated in their own way. So even though we were something, alone, she said I was nothing. I came to this few more rot shots deeper, and now high on my float.
Next to me, on my float, with my new Queen, I romanticized the gray sky of the Northeast fall season, and her cavernous fat fish mouth and jiggling body in a tight salmon sequin dress. The Queen was the finest woman of the part of town that took part in the parade. She said she’d be my everything, ‘cause I was her something.
While the yard chairs rattled in the back of the truck float, with the High School orchestra behind us, for the entire four blocks of town, we went through and down; I was the King. I was sweet as sugar and was going to get hard as a rock, my Queen told me, after the parade was dismantled and I was lodged at the Inn. The fishermen claimed that I would produce the next great seed of their fabled famous seaman.
I stayed a few more rounds.