distance between two points is from a blonde to a bed.
She was a blonde
with chestnut eyes
wearing a street dress of pale green wool.
She was a .25
caliber purse gun
with an engraved butt inlaid with silver
and ivory. The
detective followed her
into a paneled room. They sat close
to one another
on a rose davenport.
He noticed the Scotch on a tabouret
and a cigar box
near a chromium
smoking stand. “Ruin me, baby,”
her voice was
lisping smoke from a long
cigarette. His heart flickered like a blue
neon sign outside
a seedy joint. He saw
no reason to search for clues that night.
He wished he spent
the night looking
for clues. The blonde held a pistol
snug against the
and two thugs guarded the
One was a frowsy
with the features of a slug—a slug
that wore a derby
and a cheap suit
two sizes too small. The other resembled
a streetlamp in
his black suit with no meat
underneath, not to mention the moths
his fedora. The detective
took a fist to the chin, a knee to the groin,
a glass ashtray
to the temple and a floor
lamp across the neck. He passed out
before the blonde’s
flunkies had their turn
with him. When the detective
an eyelid, he
was using a curb for a pillow
and traffic whizzed past his mangled mug.
He was limp as
a handkerchief. His mind
was a scratchpad and he couldn’t read
his own writing.
He checked his pockets,
found his gun and the bottle of Scotch
he swiped earlier
were missing. He stumbled
inside a nightclub called The Boogaloo,
and took a swig
of whatever the bartender
splashed in front of him. On the bandstand
stood a lapis-lazuli
blue evening gown
with a fresh gardenia in her hair.
She had a putty-face,
but as she sang
As Time Goes By, her voice dripped
off a silver spoon.
After her number, she sat next to him
at the bar. They
talked about women
and love and head wounds. “Honey,
don’t dangle nothin’ you
gettin’ caught in a bear
She was a woman
built like a phone
booth, all steel and glass, no smooth edges,
and at 3:00 A.
M. when the streets are deserted
you can hear a ringing coming from inside.