Dear Ugly

by Will Kemp

Thanks to your nickname Interesting,
which I’ve never lived down, despite
the psychiatrist telling me to tell myself
I am an attractive man really,
I decided to learn guitar and join
the SAS – flying spy planes over Cuba,
training Sandinistas in Honduras –
hoping signoras would look up
from their fluttering fans to gaze
at the stranger with the wind-swept hair.

But even in the Amazon, canoeing
up-river through cayman-infested waters
to escape Colombian drug barons
wielding hi-velocity semi-automatics,
I came across a ring-nosed tribe
speaking a dialect I took for Esperanto,
but could only discern the words:
Gringo – es el Signor Interessanto?