Coney Island
by Myron Ernst, 2005


On an avenue of the same name
the sideshow had a mermaid too.
She didn't end with a flipper though;
she had none of her advertised scales.
It was all because of a disease of the skin,
and because her ankles and calves were so thin,
her feet dainty.


They went up on their parachutes,
and what did they know from the top of the tower?
They knew their own sanctified tables;
pale blue bottles of carbonated water,
thick meats and eggy breads,
full-sweet and holy, semi-viscous wines.
What did they see?
They saw the two British Queens
and ships of other registries,
slipping through the Narrows Channel,
like slow births out of Brooklyn's
western belly-bulge of a seahorse.