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JOSEPH'S-OF-THE-MORNING / Patrick Madden Flourishing the grand tabac, we stepped ashore to the sound of the wind's squeeze-box and harmonicas lifting along the quay, headed for Joseph's-of-the-Morning early open drinking shrine, the bambinos pestering us with bananas, warm cuba-libres, and their sisters. We were all "Hey Joes" just arrived from America and smoked good China dynamite. We knew our way around the oceans sinks— King's Cross, the Ramblas, Karachi's cheap crotch—and how to avoid card sharks playing 3-4-5 card monte on the poop-end of country buses like those Manilato -everywhere Victory Liners. The sisters begged us for greenbacks but we said we were married to the moon, the sky's cold tattoo and offered to buy them needles and dyes. They ran like anchors and bum luck so we drank even more to banish venoms and fatigues. Each drunk was a July, thick like jelly, and each hangover August, the sun's anvil. All ice—when we could get it—was charity. At Joseph's, a Cajun and a Mud Shark coaxed the dice to one more roll and all the Creoles did the Devil's skiddle-y cat cut shaking the sauce right out of those cane bones. Me and the boys nodded, Ave, Ave. The Missouri Review · 71 ...


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