TOUR OF A HOLLYWOOD DEATH
Here’s the peach bathroom
that gave her new ways
to look taller—
Thin desperado, speaking
blonde code to the business.
Here’s the last shower, hot
steaming weakness, collapse
on the pearl travertine—
charm in her eyes
turned feral the dripping
her own black star
THE FALLEN BODY
May 1, 1947: Evelyn McHale jumped to her
death from the Empire State Building
I am too much like my mother. I will
not marry in June. On this dazzling day,
I choose to jump in white gloves.
Last deep breath, strong leap of my legs.
That novice photographer sold me to Life.
He’ll never publish again!
You can gawk at the arch of my brow.
Note my dark lips, coral suit loose
at the waist. Dainty, except for a
I wanted this crash more than jewels and
punch. I found my whole peace, and gave
all of you beautiful proof.
THIS VOLUPTUOUS POEM
Never enrolled in community college, splicing
commas with risk
Nor workshopped with lemongrass refugees
bleating a tropical syntax
Nor failed to wink at legacies, whipping
the can-can skirt of convention—
flaunting her savvy, flashing rare opals
and rubies, beaming an orchid light
as spinster poems skulk in a boxy shape
of splintering unlit trim—
This poem has rattle and thrum. Watch her spark
and pierce the sphinx’s paw
guarding pink turrets of fantasy. She dribbles
the castles of brown sugar sand
in the bam-bam ching of bikini string samba,
the bang of her iambic boom.