Three Go Norma Desmond

posted Aug 8, 2007

At Valentino’s tomb I placed my bouquet.
The past is a macaw among a flock of doves,
its bones so light, bones I could crush with
just one hand. Those dogs I loved, chimp I
considered a son are all buried in the garden,
topiary willed into a maze, puzzling coils
of green woven as if by an imaginary hand
into the very picture of my inner bestiary,
zoo so tangled with briar even my little red
mare refused to graze there, home to condor,
spinning ghost of a circus bear, lone tiger.
Skeletons of elephants dot croquet lawns
springing up from the cloister of my inner
bullet. I fired, unmooring his ark and like
a Biblical boat he began to float. It rained
and rained. In LA rain isn’t simply the rote
articulation of our washed-up and sorrowful,
but falling glass we didn’t mean to smash
yet smash, flooding swimming pools into
which, mad drunk, we dive. I killed him
but in death bid him: To paradise carry
each and every last pair of me, the males
and females of the species, and the lonely.

Lesley Jenike is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati. Her poems have appeared recently in Court Green, POOL, Verse, and 32 Poems, and will appear soon in Brooklyn Review, Florida Review, and The Fairy Tale Review. Her first full-length book of poems, Ghost of Fashion, is forthcoming from WordPress.