“Toothpaste Tube” by Raymond Luczak

I’m a mermaid shimmering scales
every morning for your bad breath.
I like it when you pinch my tail
and roll my fin even tighter.
I love how my hips flesh out.

If I were real, you wouldn’t look at me twice.
I’d be a lumpy secretary with a bad perm
spending evenings alone with the TV.
But dressed like this, I’m of the sea.
Who cares if I won’t live long? I’ve got you.

As long as I fill your mouth with my breaths,
your wife will remain lusty for my kisses
you squeeze out atop your toothbrush bristles.
She’ll never know my name, but she loves me.
Polygamy couldn’t be any cleaner.


Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 19 books. Recent titles include The Kinda Fella I Am: Stories (forthcoming in November 2017) and The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips. His deaf gay novel Men with Their Hands won first place in the Project: QueerLit Contest 2006. His work has been nominated seven times for the Pushcart Prize. A playwright, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. http://raymondluczak.com.