portion of the aartwork for Phil Estes's poem

Love Poem to Detective Megan Wheeler, Special Case Squad
Phil Estes

You are a Cancer just like Cleopatra Lee
from undergrad: both redheads with freckles,
both maintain eye contact when in interrogation rooms
or at Mexican bars. Cleo didn’t wear underwear—do you?

Cuff me, lead me around the precinct.
Yes, I collected Shea Stadium into a ball, along
with Jeff Goldblum, Eric Bogosian, and St. Mark’s pizza.
The ball burned in orbit to make a superb,

underated, constellation I named Jerry Orbach.
He loves Tauruses (me).
Cleopatra unbuckled my Orion Belt once,
held my Executive Producer Dick Wolf (ha ha).

Yes, officer Wheeler, I will comply
to questions. I will stop Dick Wolfing around.
I have difficulty keeping this poem
confined to the Law and Order universe.

You remind me so much of Cleo, it hurts.
I cry when I watch USA and see you
dip your latex-ed fingers into the blood of murdered poets.
You will solve them. Solve me.

I don’t cry for other USA shows, like Psych. Fuck Psych.

I spent Christmas break watching Ken Burns’ Baseball and Criminal Intent on USA in HD. They had a lot of Julianne Nicholson/Jeff Goldblum episodes on. She’s attractive and kind of a smartass and Goldblum’s cool and kind of a smartass. It beats child molestation and ripped-from-the-headline plots.

My friend Robert J. Baumann has a chapbook out called Robert J. Baumann, A Man About Town—they’re epistolary poems with an attention to sound. I don’t write the same way he does, but his work excited me. He tackles pop culture in a similar way and I tried to take a similar approach with this poem. I kept to strict syllable counts, at times, and tried to stay aware of form. I hope it works.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 27 | Law & Order Issue | Winter 2010