Sestina by Numbers

The one-armed man, a partner in the plot
Was shot by Dot, who was a two-faced spy.
“So much for threesomes,” said the Mastermind.
The foursquare-placed desire of her design,
This five-star plan involved so many steps:
Six-shooters, bodies hidden from the police.

The seven deadly sins are hard to police.
Behind the eight ball, Dot revised her plot.
The bottom of the ninth, a few more steps
(A Tenth Commandment coveter, this spy).
Eleventh-hour turns of her design:
“Police property, twelfth round,” mused Mastermind.

Unlucky thirteenth theft, old mastermind,
His fourteen carats caged up by the police -
His fifteen minutes, famed for his design,
Got sixteen candles jail time for his plot.
In Stalag 17 Dot could not spy,
But 18th Street Gang thugs could trace his steps.

His nineteenth nervous breakdown hit the steps
From gangstas’ twenty questions. Mastermind,
Now twenty-one-gun-clued-saluted Spy,
Would snatch Catch-22 with help from police,
And 23-skidoo, a Rampart plot:
A 24-7 station, her design.

From 25-cent phone booth, a design:
From 26 letters, one would start the steps.
Amendments 27, now her plot:
All 28 dominoes tipped Mastermind.
Her plant from Twentynine Palms inside the police
In thirty seconds, at the desk she’d spy.

The 31 flavors tasted by the spy -
Ice, cream inside. 32-degree design.
Now 33-speed care, the diamonds police
Won’t miss. 34th-Street-miracle steps.
And zircon-35 switched Mastermind.
But krypton-36: the cop’s own plot.

Roulette’s 37-slot-plot brought naught, thought Spy.
38-caliber police shot Mastermind.
So Dot’s design dropped down the thirty-nine steps.

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