George Grosz "Suicide" 1916

In the window of an algae-green dive,

a topless prostitute, restless

and anemic, rotates

her sharp chin and Egyptian eyes

towards the tulip of profane blue

she holds to the dusky light

as the radiator clang

and muffled sounds

of fornicating neighbors

float through the room.

A pink invalid dwarf fidgets

near her torpedo breasts,

which are surely pointed

in the direction of a crime.

Outside, a man in a wilted suit

sprawls out, teeth clenched

into a lizard's smile,

hands loosening around

a silver cane. The suede blue derby

and gun have been tossed aside.

Through the city streets

the stalking vagrants and roaming wolves

stream in menstrual red, and on the corner

of the block, a dapper man, his eyes

downcast, dangles

from a bent lamppost.