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Marvel




On election night, Thanos grabs some popcorn.
Adds extra butter. Gets cozy in his sweatpants
and sits on his throne of stone. Feels no urge to snap.
He knows he need not do anything but watch
as humanity destroys itself with righteousness, with blame.
He chuckles as he follows the polls, the news.
How the humans cry. They shout. They attack.
What’s a villain to do but sit back and enjoy?
He sips Jack and Coke, keeps an eye on the cosmos.
If there is a song of peace rising in the hearts of some,
he doesn’t hear it beneath the scowling, the jeers.
But I hear peace swelling as if it is necessary, inevitable.
In fact, I am singing it, the way a star sings
hidden inside an apple. And I am not alone.

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On Halloween




I wake up as myself, but by 8:15 a.m.,
I am wearing a long black dress and long black gloves,
strings of pearls and my long brown hair piled high.
Once again, I am Holly Golightly, spontaneous and flirty,
eccentric and ambitious. How easily I slip into her world.
How quickly I start calling everyone darling.
How instantly I feel doe-eyed and feminine.
Though I am graying. Though I am no longer reed-like
or innocent. Though in real life I only wear yoga pants
and no one would call me glamorous.
How is it that forty years after I first met her
in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I still fall in love with her?
Confident, yet fragile. Elegant, yet humble.
I balance my long black cigarette holder in my hand
and take a long drag of the fake cigarette—
but it’s life I’m pulling deep into my lungs
getting buzzed on blue sky and white snow.
By noon, I have no idea who I am.
By midnight, though I am in yoga pants again,
the credits have yet to roll.

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You are the movie
I hope never
reaches the credits,
the only reality show
I want to watch.
You are the star
in this cinema—
and the script writer,
the choreographer,
the costume designer.
Every day, I love watching
the unfolding plot of you,
marvel at your character arc.
You, the hero I cheer for
when life does its worst.  
You, the stunt girl
for whom I hold my breath.
You, the creator of your own sound track
in which you play jazz for dinner,
in which we sing along
in the car to Arctic Monkeys
and Taylor Swift and Wham!
I love your laugh track
when you hang out in your room
reading or watching
someone else’s movie.
You may not hear me clapping,
but I’m in a constant state
of standing ovation
as you meet whatever
your role brings you,
my heart pounding as you move
with such integrity
into the next frame.

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Sitting on the couch

watching a Disney musical

and singing along

with my daughter,

we cackle like the evil queen

and purr with the catty girls,

practicing in cruel registers

we seldom use,

and I think how it is

we are drawn to imitate

that which repulses us,

how strange the words taste

in my mouth, like candy

from a foreign land,

and how our eyes flicker

with playful light

as we scowl and curse

and deride. And my daughter

snuggles in closer to me,

and I kiss her head,

and we watch till the end,

though we’ve seen it

at least five times before

and know exactly what will happen.

There is comfort, perhaps,

in reminding ourselves

how the good prevails.

We are like children who have been

lost in a dark wood while playing games,

then see a wall of sunlight

in the distance

and make a run for it.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the movie,

that’s not being made,

the one I star in,

my character, who looks

exactly like me,

is mowing the lawn,

exactly like me,

only when I go

to put the lawnmower

away by the barn,

she just keeps walking,

pushing that red Toro

down the side of the highway,

oblivious to the drivers

who stare and honk.

And there’s no orchestra

swelling, just a single

bassoon with a dark,

warm reedy timbre.

There she goes,

in her flip flops

and sun hat,

obviously not ready

for what’s about to happen

and not caring a whit,

leaving in her wake

a trail of freshly cut weeds,

and the scent of spring grass,

her figure getting

smaller and smaller

on the horizon.

 

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my daughter and I

recite all our favorite lines—

snapdragons no less beautiful

for blooming in the same place

every year

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