What Frank Knew

She pauses on the rim
of the shimmering desert,
lights a sweet caporal
with a boot-struck match,
shadowed face floating behind
the arc of a blue diamond

and suddenly she's Ava,
backwoods beauty stolen
from an old movie, playing
a sultry scene in sweat-wet khaki
beneath a hot California moon,
swaying to forgotten strains

of silent music that tickle
my memory, tighten my senses
and now she turns, turning
to smile at me dark-haired and
dangerous and all at once
I recognize the pull, fall

under the hard draw
of a sucking tide and I am
swallowed, sluiced down a perfect
throat like the perfect shot and
I understand, same as Frank did,
the nature of certain addictions.

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