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crime jazz



jesus on the dashboard, pistol under the seat.


strange days, dogging me like parking tickets. daily tripping up.


so i lit out. driving on nine. mud in my veins, eye on the dividing line. salma's bag beside me, burning holes in my calm.


"death is a star" the car radio whispers. snakes sidewind the road.


thirty bullets in my hip bag. an army of henry's silver miracle makers.


"follow my lead" she'd said. 


together, we'd seen that murder can be gentle. we'd witnessed the etiquette of violence.


they placed the velvet noose into her slender hands.
concerto para un tiroteo.


that dirty handshake. that dirty, dirty handshake.


henry would bow his bass. a low keening, tremoloing above the wind at night.


she said it helped her sleep.


henry owned a fine selection of hats and colored birds and drew maps on dish cloth.

"approach from the east," he told me.


lights off, stay low. shoes off, tread softly over sand.


two men near the eastern entrance.

the nearer of the two, eating beans from a can. moonlight glinting off the silver pistol at his feet.
static hissing from the handheld radio beside him.
the better the carpet for my creeping.


crouching, i peel off slowly at an angle.
staying low, stepping in and out of moonlight and blankets of deep shadow.


last summer, salma sailing through the air, tethered to silk. wingwalking at dawn.


i swat the image away like perfumed dust.
staying low, creeping still.


eenie meenie, gentilhombres.

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