A Spy in the House of Love

“Someone should tell you,
and it won’t be me.”
—The dB’s, “A Spy in the House of Love”

See how that cast-iron disc
decorates the empty street.
It’s not just for men anymore.
Women have always known

about the urban underground,
have their own secrets
that need covering
to protect our pedestrian selves.

See how that frosted glass spa
door dons an Icelandic female figure
outline and her pet trout
on the left. Ice blue

fades to black
behind and through her.
Not stick, not silhouette,
not another mystery unveiled

in a saga to be read
in the shrinking daylight hours.

See how she denies a police officer
stands in her livingroom.
How he mentions a stolen barge
filled with lifted

maintenance hole covers.
What happened overnight.

See how she breathes
a sigh of relief
when he leaves her
to an internal thievery

where no words
are safe.

See how the tail cuts
the fog at the slightest angle.
How the dress hem slices
a razor sharp line

to echo a horizon
that doesn’t exist.

See how the baristas
remove a square panel
hidden in the floorboards
to access a vault below.

One of them disappears
into it and reemerges
minutes later with a supply
of stackable chairs.

Flanges on legs prevent the table
from wobbling. And nothing else
warrants naming
a cafe “spyhouse.”

See how the feet are rounded off
to transform the legs
into an upside down peace sign
flashed with fingers.

Not V for victory
but a ∩ for intersection
or the Big Bend skyscraper
dreamed up for Billionaires’ Row.

See how it’s not my fantasy
to cast shadows
on America’s most beloved
city park.

How it’s all
exquisite nonsense

nowhere near the rabbit hole
but so close
to the shelf where
that Anaïs Nin novel lies.

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