Double Indemnity

All day the rain 
washes down and races 
by Danny Mota's Cadillac 
Coupe de Ville, a long 
and fat mosquito blue. 
There is a movie in which rain, 
conceptualized as fate, 
seduction and murderous lies, 
sweeps down-flowing 
over an apartment 
building in the Los Angeles basin, 
a moment I am convinced 
Hollywood came upon purely by luck. 
Right then a woman with blond hair stands 
in a dark kitchenette and stops 
talking—her face, lit by Billy Wilder, 
beams with the innocence of a girl. 
A girl who has swayed a man 
of null will to help murder her husband.  
The winding downhill road 
from her stucco and tile townhouse 
to his rooms, from nothing-to-worry-about 
to everything-gone-wrong, 
is honeysuckle lined. 
How could he have known honeysuckle 
is sometimes the smell of death? How much is instinct 
in what Hollywood knows about us 
and how much a blind guess at what draws us 
to windows where nothing means more than a storm? 
They didn't see Mota's 
Cadillac up on blocks and Dan solo 
in his house high on pills 
just so he forgets his job guarding criminals 
who are soul-less 
who average a bit more than seventeen years 
on the planet and who love 
like the rest of us to sit in a darkened movie 
house breathless with wonder. 
The cloudy night Danny's retriever 
died because somebody with a shovel bashed 
in its shameless golden head 
they didn't offer a reason. They offered this, 
a television set, and judgement: 
a moment at the movie's end where one man 
who slumps, near death, swaying 
by the kingdom of insurance's glass doors, 
about to drown in some rough reality, 
is given a last light by Edward G. Robinson. 
What looks like solace is judgment and luck.