Regular Poem: Secret Tuxedo

2 Apr

I call her Babe.

Not as a nickname, term of endearment,
whatever.
No,
that’s her name.
The kind of name
people don’t even have anymore
probably never had
outside of bad girls
in ’30s gangster flicks, the kind
of woman who carries a different pistol
to match every shade of lipstick, the kind
of woman who sasses the mayor not knowing he’s the mayor
but doesn’t apologize when she finds out. The kind
of woman who claims she was driving the getaway car at the bank heist
to appease her abusive beau
but really
she masterminded the whole enchilada
and laughs as her gang gets
sent up the river without her
and she ends up on the arm of the police commissioner
in furs drinking champagne.

Yes, that’s her name.
Every time
I go in the room
where she resides–
so elegant, so feisty, so
ready to cheat at baccarat
and abscond with the duke’s rubies–
I say,

“Hiya, Babe.”
and wink,
caress her lapel if I’ve got an extra minute.

I don’t care
that she’ll probably
implicate me in a crime,
manipulate me into giving her my inheritance,
ruin me.
For now,
we’re in love, and I’m her willing dupe.

“Hiya, Babe,” I say.
She winks back.

She’s trying to get me to take her out.

“Hiya, Babe,” I say.
She runs her tongue over her teeth.

One of these days I will take her out.
I don’t know how,
but she’ll convince me,
and I’ll think of something.

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