Scylla and Charybdis

Through the Straits of Coffee and Cream,
he converges upon a tiny white Charybdis,
swirling, sucking into unfathomable depths
the flotsam and jetsam that races
around then through the lumen,
down twirling streaks of asphalt and cream,
then smashing crystalline cubes of sweetness.
He stands among anility,
immersed in agitated waters,
tumbling in turmoil…to dream.

Six termagant women,
log necks stretching for biscuits and
porcelain teeth snatching at crumbs,
stir cups of swirling coffee,
crooked little fingers semi-extended
and the thumb and index pinching tiny spoons.
With sardonic smiles and insincere gestures,
they defile men as pigs,
and their conversation shifts from
who did what to whom
to praising Homeric poetry
and reminiscing the good fight
when their condensed and evaporated faces
could launch a thousand ships.

Rusty Taylor
written in the mid-1990s


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