Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Girl Detective

            "'So, it’s come to that,' she said. 'You’re jealous of policemen.'"
                —Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
The girl detective does not date
She sits at home       eating a piece of devil’s food cake
with red frosting       She sits at home
with a pregnancy test
       Icebox light       slats the kitchenette

The girl detective rolls seamed stockings down
one at a time, slips       off her crepe de chine
and navy pumps           In dotted swiss pajamas
       she yanks out the lousy Murphy bed
flips on her hot-bulb Hawaiian lamp
       the hula dancer’s       pampas skirt sways
       hips like lava             skin like kola nut

The girl detective       sets her honey hair
in frozen orange         juice cans
                               She double-checks
her clutch purse for Sweetheart tweezers, compact, blush
then badge               and gun

       Foundation caramelizes       in her vanity mirror
                   a bullet lipstick               ricochets
across the room       The girl detective dreams
of handcuffs                             slanted grillework
lost keys and prison                 movies where the girls
        are Lana Turner blond

       All her exes broke
the law       or moved to Hollywood
in search of starlets         sunglass swimming pools
palm trees                       and palisades
       green velvet theatres sinking               into mossy film noir
The girl detective                            keeps a corkscrew handy
things always do go south              it’s best to be prepared

- Hilary S. Jacqmin

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