Serial Poem: Poem Noir Part X

Moonlight streaming through bedroom window.
Client’s chest rises and falls.
Sheer black teddy drifts on her body,
a silent reminder of what passed between them.
T.C. Brown is amazed at how she can sleep,
when his mind races with questions.
Sleep is for the innocent.

He slips from the covers of the bed.
She stirs –
he holds his breath –
she settles,
he quietly makes his way
downstairs to the office.

The black oak desk
absorbs the light from the desk lamp.
The flowing ebony of wood
is a portrait of a calm ocean.
There is nothing on top that disturbs the wash
so T.C. decides to go fishing.

He pulls out drawers,
sifts through paper.
He finds insurance policy,
he sifts more.
He finds a bank account,
a large deposit, a small withdrawal.
T.C. sifts and finds a receipt,
two visas to Paris, France.
One for the dead man,
one for the dead woman.
T.C. remembers her hand.

“Looking for something?”
Client draped on the doorway,
grey gown, black teddy,
pale skin, dark lips.
She invites T.C. into her arms
and smothers his questions with her kisses.

Morning sunlight on bright kitchen tiles.
T.C. smiles as Client fries –
bacon on the griller,
eggs in the pan, and the gas is cooking.
He doesn’t see the sunlight focus through the window.
He doesn’t see the sunlight sparkle on the black car,
or the men inside it.
Client smiles as she serves him breakfast.
They eat their meal in silence.
Watching each other’s eyes.
Feeling each other’s heartbeat.
Glowing in the sunlight that shines in their memory.

T.C. Brown feels tamed,
washing dishes,
wiping white Formica benches.
For a time
he forgets the guns,
the shadows,
the darkness behind lampposts.
He adopts the sink,
the stove,
the fridge and freezer.
He explores this world,
as he would explore any world.
He explores closed cupboards,
revealing food and detergent.
He explores the rubbish bin,
discovering eggshells and bacon rinds.
He explores the dumbwaiter,
finding dust and cobwebs.
He explores the pile of papers
by the screen door.

He finds headlines from the past.
Bold print screaming
photos capture faces in dismay.
T.C. Brown is shocked into recognition.
He curses the comfort of the kitchen.
“CLIENT MANSION”
reads the headline.
The article is missing.
The questions and suspicions return
to replace the new world.
He notes the paper and the date,
then returns it to its place.

T.C. Brown welcomes himself back to the lamppost.

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