Los Angeles, 1947

A Hollywood
Dreaming of
From behind
A perfect face
Sits down
Beside you
In the bar
Where you
Hyperion's cage
For a night.

Though her
Stormcloud hair
And blood-red lips,
Remind you
Of an abortion
You once fathered-
Her Hollywood prattle
Is welcome:
Drowning out the
Screams of the
Innocent in your
Head better than
The bourbon
In front of you,
But not really.

Her black dress
Is tight,
But her blue eyes
Are naive
When she rests one
Red-nailed hand
Upon your arm.
Lost in your darkness,
You grunt dismissively.
She walks away,
Used to flunkies,
Grade B actors,
Studio nobodies-
Ignoring her,
And her dreams

Flawless figure
Outlined in
She joins a man,
Who smells bad-
Once more
Reminding you
Of more mistakes
Made long ago,
But you say
When she slips
Away with him,
Into the hungry

One evening
You open the paper
The bellhop left
Beside your door.
Her picture screams,
Severed at the waist
Staring blindly up
At the unattainable,
In a vacant lot,
You pause, sipping blood
Before using her face
To wrap empty bottles,
Dropped down
The waste chute-
Business as usual.

Author's note: In January 1947 a woman and her small daughter discovered what at first they mistook for a broken department store dummy laying broken in two in the middle of a vacant lot. A closer look revealed that it was really the bloodless and brutally hacked in two corpse of a young woman named Beth Short, aka "The Black Dahlia". Miss Short was a stunningly beautiful Hollywood wannabe from New England who frequented any bar or nightclub where there might be someone who could "discover" her. She became known as the Black Dahlia because of her ebony hair, flawless face, pale skin and signature tight black dresses. Beth's murder was sensationalized, but her murderer never caught.