Free Verse

Friday, February 1, 2013

Film Noir

(For Mark Clark)

The mister was all thunder

And no lightning,

His wife all smoke and fire.

Other men made it clear

She was damn fine and wasted

To boot. She knew it too.

"So, see here," says the cop

To the wife when the stiff

Floats in on the tide.

"Maybe you know who did this,

Who wanted him dead?"

She just can't think.

"Don't leave town," he said.

Many weeks without leads.

A private dick takes the case.

He's the kind who follows no particular star

But sometimes swears at the general sky.

His late night chats with the pretty widow

Make urgent music swell on the soundtrack.

At this point I click it

And slide into bed.

I knew a man once

Who believed in Bogart.

We'd stay up late smoking,

Blowing smoke way past late.

We'd tangle over nothing

In our private pot boiler

Where I never got his angle

Though tonight he still leans

On my mental street corner.

Whenever he may wander

I offer this truce, this sleepy goodnight kiss.

* * *

Ann Carter is a Carroll County native with roots back seven generations. She has an MFA in poetry from the University of Arkansas. She lives and writes in Eureka Springs, where her book of poems, Sweetness, is available at Prospect Gallery and Studio 62.

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