I’ve Never Been Much Good

(Gun Crazy, d. Joseph H. Lewis, 1950)

My name is a flag.
Big things.

I was born inside a parade,
my teeth biting down on ridges of a silver baton.

I hold my small chin upward. I killed a man in St. Louis, once.
I wear an iron crown of matches. I’ve started kicking back.

Break all the plate glass windows for me, won’tcha?
Fireworks, then fireworks. A diamond we’ll hawk later.

It’s a dangerous life, and wild:
We are beautiful, scared animals in a swamp.

I will nuzzle you in the mist while God watches,
pearl-handled revolver in his holster.

No double-cross waits in my black eyes.
It’s too good to be close to you.

I was a girl who wanted things to happen. You, for starters.
And you happened to me.