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Embrace Noir

 I go back to the scene where the two men embrace
& grapple a handgun at stomach level between them.
They jerk around the apartment like that holding on to each other, their cheeks almost touching.
One is shirtless, the other wears a suit, the one in the suit came in through a window to steal documents or diamonds, it doesn't matter anymore which, what's important is he was found & someone pulled a gun, and now they are holding on, awkwardly dancing through the room, upending a table of small framed photographs.
A chair topples, Sinatra's band punches the air with horns, I lean forward, into the screen, they are eye-to-eye, as stiff as my brother & me when we attempt to hug.
Soon, the gun fires and the music quiets, the camera stops tracking and they relax, shoulders drop, their jaws go slack & we are all suspended in that perfect moment when no one knows who took the bullet-- the earth spins below our feet, a blanket of swallows changes direction suddenly above us, folding into the rafters of a barn, and the two men no longer struggle, they simply stand in their wreckage propped in each other's arms.

by Nick Flynn
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