Parable We are not strangers to the double.The chair is not a chair;its saint is not a saint.The decoy in the stagecoachdistracts the gangfrom their leader’slong march to the gallows.What a cowboy won’t want to know:the villain is a decoy,the gallows a decoy,the handsome ten-gallon hat of the sheriff— decoy.As close to what we wantas possible. Close to what we think we worshipwhen we worship. The location almost fixed. Affect The showgirl lifts her skirts. In her black satin garter: a knife. Her aim, spectacular. The rope, sliced through. The location, almost fixed. The villain, almost saved. A trusty horse loping aimlessly in the wings. Goddamn the fatal delay. Everyone is thirsty. The sun searches for a crucible. The crowd won’t leave the square. Only when they collapse into them- selves can we begin again, correctly. Vision Meanwhile, the gang is unaware of new beginnings. Meanwhile, the stagecoach shimmers in the distance. Heat has its way with light. Everyone waits in the cliffs above the canyon. Everyone wishes for water. Horses are spooked but stupid. A driver is wary but then dead. No one can trust his eyes. To go thirsty for a double. A stagecoach is not a crucible. It burns as quickly as the man inside. Representation The preacher steps forth. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. The crowd rises from the dust. The villain continues to resemble. The showgirl could die of shame. How is it, after all these takes, that she is the one cursed to fail? The sun scorches her skin, dressed as she is to excite. Bliss The villian who is not a villain was captured (in the first place) because he remained in Bisbee when he could have fled. He remained in Bisbee to love or to sketch a woman not a decoy not a barmaid not a show girl, not the double, no. This one here. No, here. Affirmation The villain is nota villain. The sheriffis not a saint. The stagecoach is nothing buta prison. The showgirl isn’t right for the scene.The gang gives several marketingexecutives profitable ideas regardingbank credit promotional campaigns.The gallows, the crowd, the preacher don’t matter. And still, the showgirl stands beneath a high noon sun sharpening her knife.