Coney Island
by Myron Ernst, 2005

1

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.

2

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.