|Apr/May 2005 • Poetry • Special Feature|
Do they call this Tinseltown all year?
your mother had asked of the movie theatre on the other
side of town, where you took her to see Titanic,
and the film wobbled. Tinseltown is a carnival-gone-wrong,
a clown's gaping mouth, colors that shriek
as you pay for your ticket, pray that you can break
the code of the house of mirrors, to find yourself back
in your car, belted in, headed toward home where your
cats wait, where you don't smell of Snowcaps and fear.
You're in front of the ticket booth, alone, without
the safety of your mother's pony-leather purse you loved
when you were a teen, the essentiality of her swirling hair
styled by her beauty operator. It's March, and it's still
called Tinseltown, the letters all done up in flaring lights.
You don't think you'll find your way
out this time. Your married lover won't leave his wife,
your house's stucco crumbles, your mother's bones brittled.
Which movie? the mustached girl asks, louder this time.
You look back to your Toyota, and it grins, grill
gleaming, waiting for you to make up your mind.