Dan Sicoli

dream off taenarum street

from the shadowed storefront
long vacated
he beckoned

said he had this head
of a woman
he wanted
to sell

in from out
of the light
i hesitantly approached

it was in a sack
on the front seat
of his sedan
parked curbside
he spoke with a strange accent
as he moved toward it

like him
the car was
out of place
in need of a wash

i noticed his ears bristled
with more hair
than anyone i’ve ever known

what would i do
with it? i asked
just as he opened the door

imaginative people
would kill
to get their hands
on this precious treasure, he said
with a lascivious grin

stressing his asking price
was half
the head’s full value
he baited curiosity
please, come take a peek

people love a sinner
so i walked over like a river
bleeding into a bloated ocean

he hugged the bag close
to his chest as if holding a baby
then opened it slightly
my eyes widened
like a young boy’s at the circus

when a police cruiser passed by
like rolling tumbleweed
i shortened myself on the cusp
yet he didn’t even flinch

and though the clock
on the bank sign
blinked an illogical time
my toe began to itch in my shoe
yet i didn’t walk away

what was her
name? i asked

name? you want a name?
there are no names in
this business

this is a business?!!
the marketing
of women’s heads?

oh, my dear comrade
you are so naïve
but such is your way
i hold in my hands
the deal of a lifetime
and you only offer me questions

perhaps, he went on, you would
like to
touch it before
you make a purchase
maybe that will quell
your doubts

he opened the bag wider
the repulsive stench traumatized my nose
though he remained unfazed

no no i don’t need or want
to touch it
but shouldn’t it be
encased in ice?

more questions
why? she can no longer sense pain
this cloth satchel is enough

i sized him as a goldbricker
low-balled him with a handful
of petty coins

he slapped my hand
with an upward swing
and the metallic tokens flew out
like electric sparks
glinting in the brilliance of a boring sun

you know nothing of
business, my friend
you are a coward
and a philistine, he berated
and spat at my feet
as loose change rolled
across the hot cement
like fleeing kitchen roaches
seeking the darkest crevices

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