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  Graeme Kenna
   
     
The Night I Was Not Humphrey Bogart
 
She said to me “You know
You’re a Phillip Marlowe
And will walk me through these mean streets
Past where my boyfriend was jumped
And come back to my house
And you won’t be an axe murderer.
You can tell me about my turquoise eyes
My Lauren Bacall bone structure and shampoo advert hair
And have a drink and maybe it will be innocent
Or maybe you will stay within my brown skin
Until morning
 
What she didn’t say
But those eyes gave away
Was that her world had lurched from beneath her feet
That her man had been unable to protect himself nor her
And that she might prefer
It if I were that axe murderer
And I would fix her turquoise eyes,
Smash the pain from her Lauren Bacall bone structure
Take for a trophy her shampoo advert hair
Now her mascara ran in mourning streaks
 
Because it was no longer the 17th August
When the Big Sleep had called for him
Like a whimpering Elisha Scott Jr
Or Peter Lorre or Sydney Greenstreet
 
And she didn’t want
A lover
Or
A protector
Or a father figure
 
“I want me dad I want me dad
Me dad
Me dad
Me dad”



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