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Beyond Omerta

"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.

 

 

Go to Ian McBryde's profile to read more poems

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  • Ian McBryde 'Beyond Omerta'