Call me “Scarecrow”

“Ok, Scarecrow.  $300 cash.”
But more absurd this stalk
To plant forty seasons dry
Still bigger than his arms though
Neoteny at its incongruent best
Confusing her—perhaps—
A scarecrow hung like this–
So unexpected—a discount killer?
Certainly she knows
Having screened her client well
He’s no threat in the context of the total frame:
This is not going to end in handcuffs or garrotes,
Besides he teaches elementary school
And was an Eagle Scout.
No hazard, yet she counts her cash
Perfunctory, stows it in her purse.
Matronly, almost mercenary, about her rates.
Her trick of the week—and soon
Upon the bed half dressed
Piecemeal for only brains to see or feel
The room goes gloaming to his gentle cue:
“Pretend I’m Humphrey Bogart or whatever
It was that made you most the wet.  I believe
In Imagination—you, par excellence,
Are Ingrid Bergman on a fading set
And we’ll always have Paris.
Can you deal with it?”
“Uh yeah,” she answers back. “Whatever.”
And gets to work—another anonymous widget
In the all-consuming dark.
Yet as things work out
She does seem moved by something original just to him:
With pulsations of order come convulsions of disorder
And her screams are not rehearsed
Scarecrow!  Scarecrow!  Scarecrow!
Until more proof startles in a flash of bathroom light
A face transfigured, wild, insane?
“See,” he calls. ”Imagination works!”
“Actually,” she avers, “it was all you—the wettest I ever got.
Time for hazmat!”
The shower starts.
The shower stops.
She reappears
Dressed, with purse.
“Well, between me and you that took awhile.
Thanks to Ingrid Bergman, huh?”
“Uh, actually it was all you.”
“Bullshit, Scarecrow!” She smiles, she has her money,
And lets the clever hew.
“You could have repopulated the world with what I washed off.
Now you clean the bed!”
“Why the rush?”
“I’ve a day job too.”
“In Emerald City.”
“My real name’s ‘Dorothy,’ by the way
As if you didn’t know.”
“Baby, I could strangle you for that.”
“Then, dear Scarecrow, Ingrid needs to know.”

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