Charlie, drenched in sweat, pulled the oak lever,
Watching his hula girl tattoo slide off one arm
Onto the press where iron die was cast.
Factory whistle blew,
All eyes turned
Toward the clock, “comically.”
See ya, Charlie.
See ya Fellas and Charlie left for home,
Following the outgoing tide
Down Piedmont Avenue, surrounded
By flopping fish with heaving gills,
Street lamps short circuiting,
Flickering out, one by one,
Leaving Charlie embedded
In asphalt, and seaweed, eyes filmed over.
One couple sidestepped, mincing
Around him, “the man” leading her away
By the elbow.
“No, no, we don’t do that,” he
Waters returned and Charlie was scooped up,
Alongside dried starfish,
Crushed cigarette packs,
At the elbow,
Dogs sleeping by warm stoves,
To be dumped
Far out at sea.