A maple leaf drifts through the bars
of her window a perfect russet freedom
twirled thoughtfully in her fingers, she presses
her cigarette in and blows fragrant
scroll work through the hole.
She flicks the butt at the tattered feathered
remnant of a corset nailed to the wall,
and imagines it laced and squeezing the neck of
the fat producer, bowler two sizes too small
greasy red lips and greasy red jealousy.
Sacked for her shimmy over the orchestra,
violin notes flew up her garter in the last act
glued pasties on her nipples pinned on
kitty cat ears and toyed with him
and her pistol behind a lace parasol
high heeled lace up boots clack like castanets
she exits stage left, the exit hole squirms with smoke.
Arrested with the rest of the dime girls suspended
from street lamps she briefly wonders if she gathers
a love child to the otherwise cool expectations
of the ladies who hang from the straps of
trolley cars thrusting their breasts into the faces
of seated gentlemen, the women who pursue
adversity and applaud the sandbox of domesticity
and secretly plunge into plush lust with angular lovers,
would this life compromise her poetic truth?
She pleads her case in the rouge press couched
in the vernacular of cigars and already feels the
rough rope at her throat and hopes she will
have time to feel the void at her feet
when the trap door drops into indigo.