Angela Phinlay [The Asphalt Jungle 1950]
She has fallen asleep on the velveteen couch;
eyelids heavy with youth,
too much attention paid to the cut of her pantsuit
or the suggestive shape of her full body;

a soft 's',
or a lazy 'm'
and a yawn without noise.

An uncle dips her into a hungry kiss
before bed, breath hitches into his throat,
cigarette smoke slithers from a widened
nostril: "goodnight uncle" she coos, voice low
and pillowy, lips gesticulating suggestively and he is
left clutching the rhinestone heel of her
discarded shoe.

She hovers in the doorway of the bedroom;
light shadowy against the lace canopy above the
poster bed; closes the door slowly behind her.

He is thinking about her green bathing suit when
she lays her head in his lap; caressing the shaft of
a half-gone cigarette while she hides in the other
room from the police pounding against the front

Dreaming of Cuba, the hot arid beaches, the low lighting
and her silvery stare, she always holds only his fingertips,
never his hand.