“Sleight of Hand” by Mickey J. Corrigan

Sleight of Hand (Moth on Polaroid Sky)
Moth on a Polaroid Sky by Karen Bell

All warfare is based on this:
deception. Tonight, your mask
alcohol and brass and disarray
to hide your self-impersonation.

Mahogany bar, sports on twelve
flat screen TVs.
Happy hour cheese
hard to the touch.
Tiny cold
hot dogs on sticks.
Drunks laughing,
your face
unreadable,
gaping mouth socked,
duct-taped eyes full
of ancient shadow.

You’re growing older
younger
than your parents did.

You pose, display what’s on tap
for the night. Bog woman.
Out of your black cave
into the ragged firelight.

Now you see her, now you don’t
see a woman in a bar,

You are the retribution artist
dead rabbit in your hat,
bloodied rags up your sleeve.
Pull out
a moment of distraction, false
impressions, fake confessions,
jokes
on you.
Now you see it
now you don’t,

the usual toast
just another wet defeat.

Always, a man appears
out of nowhere
lacking the gold doubloon
of his own mutiny.

He slides over, leans in,
handsome after three drinks
delightful after more.

You: up for whatever
comes after that.

You call the shots.

 

 

Mickey J. Corrigan publishes pulpy fiction with presses with names like Breathless, Champagne, and Bottom Drawer. Her most recent novella is the spoofy romantic comedy F*ck Normal. A coming of age novel is due out later this year. Poetry and short fiction have appeared in literary journals. Visit at www.mickeyjcorrigan.com or on Goodreads.

3 thoughts on ““Sleight of Hand” by Mickey J. Corrigan

  1. No matter how many they may ” throw down” the alcoholic never call the shots. Deep inside they know the jokes on them, but they’ll down another and another to try to hide the bloody dead rabbit that is self-loathing.

    Mickey weaves a story with great imagery, I almost wanted to reach for a piece of crusted over cheese. Almost.

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