The Retirement of Delay

(after Karoline Wileczek)

Image for The Retirement of Delay

The barge made port of call and molted.
All we knew was the Yellow. Mummers
dropped down like spiders from the sky.
Lost King Forward said, “This is Denmark,

the retirement of delay.” Who was I to
argue? Analysis will not work here. I’d
memorized all thirteen of the Theorems
of Coherence but I still couldn’t find our

car. I would die naked and unresolved.
Like a lobster. Lines formed overnight.
For everything. Boutonnieres and bow
saws and all manner of mystical shit. It

was either weather, or war. The Order
of the Pharaonic Jesters appeared and 
in finest fettle mirrored our every step 
with their impossible precision, curling

like clouds of vapors through the alleys,
then through the brick itself. A gris-gris 
man sat inside of his hot dog cart taking 
inventory of his amulets. I couldn’t spot
the bird that was our bus to the Yellow.
The moon kept dropping down, buzzing,
like an X-ray. I could feel it, pulling me 
apart. Our bones had nowhere to hide.

Jeffrey Little | Paranormal Foreplay
Contents | Mudlark No. 77 (2024)