Just Another Night

Just another night in the sleepless city.
The call came in around midnight –
cheap hotel, Lower East Side, dead female.

The uniforms kept the other residents at bay,
as me and my partner, Detective Gennaro,
looked at the body on the stained floor.

White, late teens, maybe pretty; hard to tell
with her brains spilling over her face,
blood clotting on her hair and neck.

Bad scene, but I’d seen worse –
the triple execution in Central Park,
for instance – and it was getting late.

Time to get the medics in, get the body
shifted. As I turned to go, however, Gennaro
nudged me, pointed at the victim’s shoes.

They were two-tone – black and white – and
pristine, as if straight from the box.
They looked incongruous in the seedy room.

Incongruous…and strangely innocent,
a teenage daughter’s birthday shoes.
A touch of humanity in the face of death.

My point? No point, no moral, no meaning.
A pair of beautiful shoes, a young dead female
and another night in the cold hard city.

Bill Fitzsimons

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