Midnight Rendezvous, Boston


Mike Allen
illustration by Santiago Iborra

The satyr lounges across the teak-legged sofa,
one hoof dangling onto the carpet of endless
fleurs-de-lis. Men and women in long, black coats
stumble past, fleeing the flash-freezing winds
hidden in Boston's flurries, and crawl up the stairs
under the weight of liquor and the doorman's gaze.
The satyr's slitted eyes track a waitress's slit skirt
as she skitters outside for a forbidden smoke.
He smiles, paws the carpet with his dangling hoof,
runs an idle, ebony hand through his curls of beard.
No one meets his gaze or looks his way.

The revolving door squeaks; his horned head turns.
Haughty antlers crown the beast striding toward him,
a mantle of leaves hung on shoulders strong as trees,
a hide of soft fawn down stretched taught across
an iron-muscled chest. The Horned One twirls
his javelin with impatience, stares down imperiously
as the satyr reaches out, traces a playful finger
down the groove of the avatar's hard belly. No one
stops to ask them who or what -- this is Boston,
what you do for kinks is not our business.

Later, the janitor pauses, appalled at the animal
noises coming from the men's bathroom stall.
Someday they'll take out all the doors in here,
he thinks -- then goes on about his business.

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