Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
30|09:17 Noir

The blonde in black leans against the iron railing,
Exhales long and slow, whispering smoke,
A promise formed in the plume,
Tells our man what he needs to know,
What he doesn't want to hear,
And he disappears into the fog
The sound of his departure cleverly masked
By the thunder of the 9:45 Express rumbling through.
The world is blacks and grays with bits of red for emphasis,
Punctuating flowers and lives and femmes fatales,
The drumbeat set by the cocking of revolvers,
A saxophone somewhere, a clarinet in reply.
The timeworn detective shakes his head and grits his teeth,
The corpulent crime boss leans back in his chair and brays laughter,
Two thugs loom up out of the darkness like battleships or tanks,
And the women - oh, the women - lay in the heat and pout.
The ice clatters in the glasses like dice on a table,
The whiskey pours in after like a flood bearing down,
The smoke is either from cigarettes or the early morning fog,
And the screams are sirens or sirens.
What does the city want, demands the mayor -
The city wants its own back tonight, the city wants revenge,
The city wants to be heard, to be seen, to be felt,
The city wants nothing but to be standing tomorrow.

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