Nick Flynn

(1960 - / Boston / United States)

Embrace Noir - Poem by Nick Flynn

I go back to the scene where the two men embrace
& grapple a handgun at stomach level between them.

They jerk around the apartment like that
holding on to each other, their cheeks

almost touching. One is shirtless, the other
wears a suit, the one in the suit came in through a window

to steal documents or diamonds, it doesn't matter anymore
which, what's important is he was found

& someone pulled a gun, and now they are holding on,
awkwardly dancing through the room, upending

a table of small framed photographs. A chair
topples, Sinatra's band punches the air with horns, I

lean forward, into the screen, they are eye-to-eye,
as stiff as my brother & me when we attempt

to hug. Soon, the gun fires and the music
quiets, the camera stops tracking and they

relax, shoulders drop, their jaws go slack
& we are all suspended in that perfect moment

when no one knows who took the bullet--
the earth spins below our feet, a blanket of swallows

changes direction suddenly above us, folding
into the rafters of a barn, and the two men

no longer struggle, they simply stand in their wreckage
propped in each other's arms.


Comments about Embrace Noir by Nick Flynn

  • Susan Williams (4/10/2016 3:51:00 PM)


    I enjoyed this story, it is a scene we have seen many times but now we see it through another viewer's eyes and what a difference that makes. The closure to this is absolutely perfect- - - -]
    and the two men

    no longer struggle, they simply stand in their wreckage
    propped in each other's arms
    (Report) Reply

    10 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rajnish Manga (4/10/2016 11:34:00 AM)


    The suspense, the action ans the final scene have come alive through the graphic details in the poem. I really enjoyed it and appreciate the skill of the poet to recreate a scene from the movie. Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Barry Middleton (4/10/2016 7:06:00 AM)


    Interesting poem. I really like Noir movies. (Report) Reply

  • Woru Sulyman (4/10/2016 6:24:00 AM)


    I like it suspense...nice work (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/10/2016 1:43:00 AM)


    Wreckage! ! Stealing will never bring us peace. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • (9/17/2009 1:37:00 AM)


    A dark embrace, indeed! Like in a movie about the Mob. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Gale (2/22/2009 9:37:00 PM)


    Great poem! What is said at the start of a movie, but 'ACTION! .'

    God bless us all-MJG.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



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Read poems about / on: brother, music, change, dance, fire



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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