Mermaid Teeth
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The sky as black as lead above, the Crimson Sea beneath
Aboard my trusty vessel which I’d named “The Shipman’s Sheath”
I gathered up as many clams as I could dare bequeath
And headed to the marketplace to purchase Mermaid Teeth

See, Mermaid Teeth are mighty rare, and mighty hard to seek
You can’t go buying Mermaid Teeth at any old boutique
Only a trained professional could even stand a chance
But if they did, you’d damn be sure they leave with heavy pants

I didn’t know the way around, but I knew where to look
And sure enough, I found myself alone inside a nook
A tiny shop, a mom-and-pop, no secret goings on
But one quick flash of my clam stash and soon that ruse was gone

They took me to the secret room below the wooden floors
And through a hall that was too small, and in a set of doors
And there I saw a single stand amidst the basement clutter
A strung up wreath of Mermaid Teeth that made my heart aflutter

I walked up briskly to the stand and gave a hearty knock
And waited there for countless seconds praying for a clock
Until a small young lady walked in from the other side
Her face was bright, her hair was white, it seemed to have been dyed

“Well hello there you handsome thing, I like the way you walk.”
“I’ve got some goods, I think you should peruse our ample stock.”
“We just received some shipments for our lovely mercantile,”
“And for the price, try something nice, it may be worth your while.”

“Perhaps enjoy a simple toy, a yo-yo or a kite,”
“Or do you wish a brand new fish, I promise it won’t bite.”
“A cold dessert of coffee mixed with solid bars of heath,”
“And our most esteemed possession here - a pound of Mermaid Teeth.”

By now my hands were sweating and my nervous tick returned
I could not stand to be without the Teeth for which I yearned
My heart was pounding and I had forgotten how to talk
“I’m here for Mermaid Teeth and I’ll take your entire stock.”

I dumped my bag of clams onto the surface of the stall
She looked at me with great concern “You sure you want it all?”
I gestured to my clams again, ten quahogs and a pearl
“The standard price for one whole pound” I answered to the girl

“Now wait a sec” she said to me “You’re short a scallop shell”
I pointed to the wreath of Teeth I wanted her to sell
“The molars all look fine to me, they seem set out to chew”
“But that one has a denture so the price is cut in two”

She seemed taken aback that her deception had gone south
“You seem to know your way around the noble Mermaid’s Mouth”
“Tell me, what occupation leads so sensual a youth”
“To have the knowledge needed to identify a Tooth?”

I wouldn’t tell the girl a thing about my darkened past
So I bought the Teeth and headed back to raise and set the mast
Though truth be told, she was correct, I knew a thing or two
I’d had my share of exploits with a nasty sort of crew

For years, I’d travelled on a ship, a wooden pirate yacht
Led by the most bloodthirsty man that you could ever spot
The leader of the Crimson Sea, by permit or by punch
Lieutenant of “The Guppy” was the fearless Captain Crunch

Before I started working there, I’d tried to make my start
At Telligarca College, major in Performance Art
But in order to pay off my dues to school, I had apprenticed
Under a man named Freelah Weave who was a Mermaid Dentist

And there I sat, two decades later, in The Shipman’s Sheath
With stolen clams and rotting yams and a pound of Mermaid Teeth
So I took off into the water till the shore was done
And it was just me and The Crimson Sea away from everyone

I put the Teeth into a grinder and began to turn
Wary of all the effort and the calories I’d burn
Till all the Teeth were nothing more than powder on the floor
And I snorted that shit so hard that it made my nostrils sore

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