November 23, 2009

Evan Rail


Anyone can become a police.
—Martin Amis

Even here, even tonight,
        in this just-used borrowed bedroom,
                either of us could be a policeman

kicking down the closed doors of alibis,
        of our lies. Each of us
                could investigate the case

back to its origin: the modus operandi,
        motive and opportunity
                for earlier love.

Do we not know the score?
        Criminals return to the scene
                if only in their minds.

We let them talk
        and flip them in their lies.
                We break them and fold them.

Either of us could play good cop,
        coffee-giver, profferer of lights;
                either could be the bad lieutenant,

hard terrier of truth,
        close-whispered questioner,
                and anyone could be the suspect

handcuffed face-down in this bed,
        begging for just one second, pleading now
                for the chance to deal names like cards.

–from Rattle #22, Winter 2004
Tribute to Poets Abroad

Rattle Logo