I walk with simple people
who wish me to believe that I am not an instant...
I lock the door and hear a knock. An angel peeks
from the corner of a mirage...
says my mother is the gardenia
a nurse planted in her breast pocket
My father's a secret gauze, crinkling,
the day I breathed...
I don't thank Fate, nor count my muses
but give thanks to mathematics,
the number 7's breathless proportions.
When I was a model, I spoke as a model.
When I was an actress, I spoke as a girl
enamored by sunless rooms and yellow bars of spotlights.
(If the camera won't love you, who will?)
My nose was crooked like a long bridal veil
plink, plink, plink, I got married.
I knelt at the tabernacle of chaos.
plink plink, plink, I got married
and mistook vodka for water.
A gallon of sleeping pills and I dream of Neptune.
Playboy parts scattered like bones on glassy paper.
A centerfold, the portable trap of my vulgar self.
I pretended to be a baby chick locked to what its eye first seizes.
a quiet blonde shell without a libretto
whose skirt flutters in wild pentameters&emdash;
a GI's obscene flag.
I consider myself a missionary to the suburbs,
like McDonald's or a really long rope.
A dimestore magic trick in legendary light.
"May Day May Day" cries the tabloids,
the lack-luster pages of my weekly planner.
Housewives want to be me
but I'm only a glass bottle poised in a publicity still.
I'm just a woman. Bewildering June.
Norma Jean. Lightheaded and I have strange dreams.