Five Noir Senses

In the transparent city
an empty sound
loud as a hubcap at three a.m.
spinning its hollow music until
bouncing off the curb
it falls hollow as a broken drum.
A sound as cold as that
bouncing off towers, never
softened by human flesh.
Cool glass reflects
oiled steel and nothing else.
Brimstone smoke hovers
but is seen only once—an actor
leaving the stage after his murder
by a beautiful stranger.
In this transparent city
it’s the last deal before dawn.
Forgotten meals color
almost solid air—soy and garlic
kissed with carbon monoxide.
Tires belch burnt rubber.
In a transparent city
yesterday’s rainwater
douses a grease fire.
Harbor light bounces
through the transparent city
to the street, tasting of salt—
an air of ancient sailor coats tongues.
A flavor—last night’s lipstick, waxy,
lingers where it shouldn’t.
Cool air slaps you under
a buzzing streetlight. Taut skin
loosens like losing cards. Her coat opens
to the transparent city, You reach.
You don’t feel the bullet.


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