To Have and Have Not, 1944
Betty Joan Perske, age nineteen, gives that look,
the one that shifts tectonic plates, to Bogie,
and that’s it: Germany surrenders,
Japan bows its apologies, and that sailor
smooches the nurse in Times Square. The world,
no longer black and white, makes love
as D-Day shrinks to just a time for planting
daffodils, and Hiroshima grows Toyotas.
Harry T. has lunch with Stalin; General
Patton takes up nursing Bonsai trees.
“You know how to whistle, don’t you,”
says Bacall, as the moon sighs and the Earth
sighs back. “Just put your lips together
from: Put This On, Please. Copyright 2014.