"You can feel the cold metal of the gun against
your skin. You can almost hear your heartbeat.
You're alive, really alive."
- Sam Giancana, Chicago, 1938
1. Awkward gloves. A stiff fit, but no time. Past
one. The docks. Six of us. The distant rumble
and hum as their vehicles come off the bridge.
2. My wife's eyes full of the certain knowledge
of everything I can never mention. Her ragged,
troubled sighs as I hold her while she sleeps.
3. His startled look as the pick goes in, his
backward lurch and collapse and the noise
in his throat that the others mimic, laughing
in the Cadillac on the way back.
4. Stacked hand. A bad roulette, a black
abacus. Too late to imagine having gone
back, or ahead, or right instead of left.
5. How their eyes roll up, how bonelessly
they crumple. How I shook the first time.
6. The splash of handguns thrown into
the middle of the river. Expensive suits
burned in Brooklyn wastelands because
the blood just won't wash out.
7. My wife's back as she stands at the window.
Coat on. House keys in her hand. The last
of her notes on the hall table.
8. Late calls. Hidden drawers, closed cars,
smoke in the rain. The shadow that moves,
and the shadow that moves away.
- Ian McBryde 'Beyond Omerta'