Mars in Scorpio – by Robert Cole
“Held over in a Mexican jail
for carrying Acapulco gold,
his freckled smile in close-up
like a missing person’s photo.
He explained his fate away
as Mars in Scorpio.
A mattress sleeping it off on the floor
and an axe, his acoustic guitar.
His polaroid eyes from the jail,
a sty in the corner;
ampules and capsules
strewn across the rattan.
A switchbacked scorpion
squirmed at the sill –
the black kind, not lethal?
big as a lobster.
We cut a tarot pack.
He asks me for my time of birth.
The mechanism of the scorpion reverberates
its silencer; moves off by remote control.”
I can’t even recall how I found this poem but it’s haunting. I can barely find anything online about the poet, Robert Cole.