El Morroco


Hey boy, I want this suit cleaned,

pressed and delivered back to me by

noon tomorrow.


Tall, dark and handsome,

with slicked back, jet black hair,

a scar between his lower lip and

chin, made him look fearsome.


You see this guy was one of our

frequent customers, who dropped

off their cleaning at our shop that

leaned lazily against their spot,

the El Morocco club.


A place familiar to me as a boy,

my old man took me there, while

he hung out in the back with other

stylish dressers with tipped fedoras,

pinned striped suits, silk ties, and

patent leather shoes.


This day this boy would find inside

the muscles pocket, an ivory studded

switch blade, he pocketed, and hid for

later play


He loved the pressure it sprung when

pressing its button, to spring release

the four inch two sided blade, with blood

stains on its edges.


Daydreaming he kept wondering

how many it had penetrated, twisted

inners, bled, and finally died from

cold steel forced by his muscle

behind the blade who watched

them bleeding.


The excitement generated an interest,

was it used in self-defense, or was he

simply a butcher of men, a prop used

when needed, and the order given to

drop someone?


Maybe a snitch, a cheater, or another

killer like him, when tested would draw

you in, then slide this blade deep and

bloody, without a sign of mercy, while

showing his visible scar faced lip, that

sneered at you with a final twist.


The boy stopped daydreaming when

a shout rang out from the boss man,

Mr. Spot the shop owner, hey boy,

delivery for you, let’s go, he’s waiting

for his cleaning.


Who? Oh, the El Morocco slick haired

muscle, let’s name him Tony Hustle with

the awful scar between his lower lip and

chiseled chin.


Tony opened his door and invited me in,

black and burgundy were his condo colors,

paintings of Italy hung from a latticed vine

wall in his hall. The smell

of stale whiskey, cigars and sex

swirled up my nostrils, inviting me in.


Hey boy, what did you find; when

I dropped my silk suit off to you at nine?

Did you enjoy it, was it balanced in your hand

Or dream about how you could slide it back

and forth with the simple switch of a finger tip?


How much do I owe you for the cleaning?

Don’t be afraid, I was a boy just like you,

who found and kept, and stole into the night.

Keep it as my gift to you and here is a tip,

$10 for your curiosity.


Now go, and keep it hidden, remembering

it was given as a token, and a code of

honor that only we are held to keep secret

among us and never spoken.


So when you’re a man and fully understand,

come join us for a drink or two, and turn

over that switch for a kiss on both cheeks

down at the El Morocco where real men

play for keeps.

© Copyright Vincent Moore 2014. All Rights Reserved.


El Morroco — 2 Comments

    • Yes with crime all around me as a boy and teen, even working after school as a delivery boy at a cleaners, I cam across it. Many of the mob boys would bring their suits in for cleaning at this cleaners I worked for and when I was in the store, my job was to check all the pockets of pants, suit jackets and shirts before we tagged them and put them in the bin for cleaning, that’s when I came across this switchblade, thus the poem.

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