milky way

it took butterfly light
to catch Marlene Dietrich's
one drag
the length of her finger
turned darkness into ash

Lonely Soldiers Means Free Tricks
for would-be enlisted men
packs rolled up in their tees

the way Robert Mitchum
hung a cigarette carelessly
from his lower lip
like nobody's business
it wasn’t

Frankie dragged a reefer
like it was Tommy Dorsey's trombone
where he learned to breath
turned smoke into swing
nightlife into cool jazz

Marlboro country
where the cows coughed
couldn’t run a step
under God's blue sky
in hoc signo vinces