An old man comes into the pub, stumbling.
I say Got to take your temperature, mate and hold the thermometer gun to his head.
I pull the trigger and he shouts BANG! Jerks his heads back.
He’s too drunk, he falls into a table, knocks over a bottle of hand sanitiser.
He says Am I hot?
I say No, mate, cold.
The old man pulls his dick out of the top of his trousers and spins his cock and balls around like
a sack of flour.
He says Measure this then.
He’s laughing with his mouth wide open.
His top gum only has one tooth.
A gold tooth.
All the others have rotted away leaving only this gold one as memorial to a time he could afford dental work.
I think about his mouth as it would have been.
Piecing it together like an ancient Roman city where all but the most solid monuments have crumbled away.
In my head, I reconstruct his smile in middle age.
Nicotine teeth with one gold glinting.
I recreate him as a young man, flashing white teeth at young women.
I see him as a schoolboy, teeth missing waiting to grow back and I see him as a baby, his mouth fertile ground waiting to be built on.
He’s like a baby now.
A drunk baby with a gold tooth, swinging his cock and balls around in a pub doorway on a Thursday afternoon.
He’s like a giggling baby, proud of his new dick.
Because his laughing makes everything funny, I hold the thermometer to his ball sac.
Nah, man, even colder I say.
Well shiiiit, says the old man and walks out into the sunshine.
Drink: The Immaculate Conception:
Prepare a Baby Guinness (float a layer of Bailey’s on top of a shot of Tia Maria). Drop into a pint of Guinness. Drink immediately, in one, to minimise clotting.
Dan Melling is a poet and prose writer, originally from the UK. He holds an MFA in poetry from Virginia Tech University. His work has appeared in Juked, X-R-A-Y, Fanzine and others. He sometimes tweets at @melling_dan.
image: MM Kaufman