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.