To Lucasta
By Corey Mesler

It was either during Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’ or something by Ultimate Spinach. Ross turned to Emma and said, I want to die underneath your silken penumbra. Emma called to Sam and Sam came with a socket wrench. I was losing interest in the group dynamics by then and I wandered out onto the veranda. They were playing a game there with small animals, something cruel and full of fury. I smiled at Matt because Matt was a vaticide. The evening air seemed amethystine and the stars just another wheeling show let loose upon an audience unwilling to accept anything but the worst, the lowest common demonstrator. I thought I should leave and went in search of our hostess, Harley Mae. Harley Mae told me she loved me but that might have been in a formication. Now she looked at me the way the gambler who acquired Christ’s garments looked at the losers. I wandered out into the lavender night (did I decide just then that it was lavender?) and thought I might get a bite to eat at Pop’s. Maybe Micki would be there, in her shirt made of fishing net, and her hair red like the river in Montgomery Clift’s dream-image portfolio. I might start something with Micki, I thought, though that was perhaps premature since Micki was, I now remembered, in Aruba with her dermatologist. I winked at the first cop I passed and started to crave one of Pop’s chef’s salads. Pop was the only one I knew who put actual human flesh in his chef’s salad. Yes, that would be a fine way to end what had been a semi-frustrating evening, a little salad and a little chat with Pop’s daughter, Lucasta, who is a hunchback but still, really remarkably sexy, like an otter is sexy to other otters. She and I once kissed, many moons ago, over a game of Monopoly. She had just landed her cubiculum on Free Parking. I owed everything, at that fecund time, to Hieratic Trust.

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COREY MESLER has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He is the author of five novels, 3 books of short stories, 2 full-length collections of poetry, as well as numerous chapbooks of poetry and prose. He and his wife own Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN.

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