Director's Cut

Opening shot: morning. Mid-May. Mid-maybe,
misgiving, mistake, mid-take your time repeating after me
so long, so longing, lost and short of breath. Start
to finished lines means each between-the-line by heart

where hem reacts to haw—close shot—the big to-do list,
lights and stunts, month and mouth made-up to fit
the ending. Try the goodbye on for size. Lather, rinse,
repeat sweet nothings, catch phrase and a slow release.

The shower scene fades to soliloquy, last forwarding address
on the saloon soundstage, fired blanks, ketchup on a blouse,
then aftermath and ever after. I have to say,
the camera loves you when the credits roll and you play

dead. Fast forward and you flail out like my marionette.
Rewind, you ride right backward toward me out of that sunset.

From Say So. Copyright © 2011 by Dora Malech. Reprinted by permission of the author and Cleveland State University Poetry Center.