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(1960 - / Boston / United States)

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Embrace Noir

I go back to the scene where the two men embrace
& grapple a handgun at stomach level between them.

They jerk around the apartment like that
holding on to each other, their cheeks

almost touching. One is shirtless, the other
wears a suit, the one in the suit came in through a window

to steal documents or diamonds, it doesn't matter anymore
which, what's important is he was found

& someone pulled a gun, and now they are holding on,
awkwardly dancing through the room, upending

a table of small framed photographs. A chair
topples, Sinatra's band punches the air with horns, I

lean forward, into the screen, they are eye-to-eye,
as stiff as my brother & me when we attempt

to hug. Soon, the gun fires and the music
quiets, the camera stops tracking and they

relax, shoulders drop, their jaws go slack
& we are all suspended in that perfect moment

when no one knows who took the bullet--
the earth spins below our feet, a blanket of swallows

changes direction suddenly above us, folding
into the rafters of a barn, and the two men

no longer struggle, they simply stand in their wreckage
propped in each other's arms.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003


Read poems about / on: brother, music, change, dance, fire

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Comments about this poem (You Asked How (formerly Even Now She Is Turning, Saying Everything I Always Wanted Her to Say) by Nick Flynn )

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  • Eithne Queen of Celts (9/17/2009 1:37:00 AM)

    A dark embrace, indeed! Like in a movie about the Mob.

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  • Michael Gale (2/22/2009 9:37:00 PM)

    Great poem! What is said at the start of a movie, but 'ACTION! .'

    God bless us all-MJG.

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