The Zen of Crime

I advise her to shoplift something minor,
panties, perhaps, wad of silky sin in her hip pocket.
Or stroll away with coral earlobes, hands
full of jellies or pistachios in harmless white shells.
A side-by-side refrigerator, she says,
and I’ll drag it off singing—so you better be there
to bail me out. I tell her of my friend
who stripped naked and climbed the bars of her cell
making chimp sounds to entertain the other women.
She tells me of her friend’s run from the police
into a quarry where she ditched her Mustang
and swam beneath the yellow water to Wisconsin.
Now we begin to admit things: I applied at a topless bar.
I spoke to a madam in Chicago. I stole sirloins
from A&P. Like Bonnie and Clyde. Thelma and Louise. I
was Dillinger in a former life. I worked
on Wall Street. Seriously, I say,
what can you steal today to make yourself happy?
Ray-Bans, she says, for the eyes of blind Justice.
All the tea in America.
—Maureen Seaton