by Sycamore Smith

In Scarlet Town where Barbara Allen killed herself
A golden arm is tarnishing upon a shelf
It holds a glass and raises it to Barbara's health
It's the 4th of July, yet
The cuckoo is quiet

The Captain is wrapped in his rat-skin rags
The river is jammed up with cats in bags
Me, I pledge alligators to the flag--
It's thinner than gauze
And spangled with moths
I've got all the answers to your questions, my lass:
Yes, No, Yes, Yes, No...and Don't Ask
The sailors empty vessels in the dingy bar
And pass around a sabre-toothed scimitar
The Captain's on the antler pile gettin' carved
While the lighthouse spins
Like it's lit with gin

A double-agent drinks a dram of muscatel
While dreaming up a secret plan that he can sell
A sniper on the tree-top aims a musket well
Ba-BOOM, and it's done
By a baboon with a gun
My pops used to say it a lot
But I never say it too often:
"The hardest man will soften
Betwixt the handles of his coffin"
A strangler  is loose & folks are frantic
The hearses he has filled are choking traffic
While hiding out he'll tidy up your attic
With the duster he made
From your grandmother's braids

Before you croak there's something that you ought to know
The afterlife is hot no matter where you go
For Hell is roasting Heaven, slowly, from below
I've seen it all from the window
Of my villa in Limbo...