outside the fish palace a waitress on probation
tied up beside bars of gold.
Like a poor man’s Jean Harlow I count my snapshots
wish for darker noirs sandwiched between two truck-driving brothers
and there was one summer I didn’t sleep at all
seemed the city opened up
surrendered to cheap fur, diamonique, and bleach
and every time you crawled upstairs you caterwauled.
The picture was bad. I wait in the parking garage to kill time
keep hearing her scream as he falls from the building
and I want sleep immediately
or a script girl or professional courtesy.
I keep remembering the pasture, thick layers of ice
gypsy women sewn into horses for penance
dead dogs as foreplay, Wuthering Heights
my need to feel restless inside B-movies
when all I ever meet are racketeers.
These days you can’t help but think every phone call’s a psycho
and not pay the bills that come in.
My illicit lover and I drink one bourbon
in high-waisted pants and matching plaid shirts
so much potential his tommygun or the pill in my purse
the self-help book a Venus flytrap
but we still wait for transference
a primordial ceremony
to catch fire or be nursed.