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Friday, March 08, 2019


by Mickey J. Corrigan

A sign is posted outside of Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., one of several spas closed in south Florida as a result of a six-month investigation into sex trafficking. —Times-Republican, February 28, 2019

All you see is the romance
of palm trees in an ocean breeze
sugary sand and slim suits
on slick brown bodies. You think
it's like your fantasies of love
soft bare skin and lickable sweat
and that's the trick—
naked seaside indolence
disguised as a pretty poem
your dreams breezy and loose
as a mid-day tryst
after salted dips in aqua
waves, margaritas
sipped in umbrella shade.
Lift up your sunglasses, friends—
drip-dry your mushy hearts, your
sentimental smarm
and take a good look
at the overshadows
the slave ships and rope burns,
the storm clouds, the flooding doom
with tints of unbearable intensity.
Faux is perfect for paintings
but here
paradise is a trompe-de-l'oeil
in a vast holding cell.

Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan lives in South Florida and writes noir with a dark humor. Books have been released by publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Poetry chapbooks include The Art of Bars (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Days' End (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2017). Project XX, a novel about a school shooting, was published in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK.