She of gentle home-bound feet
-not by clay but cloth-
recasts black & white & technicolor
the exotic wildland of dreams:
galaxies to fly through
whole and to return,
skimming waterways, fabled
granite cities—le Seine, Paris
in the Twenties, the famous 1939
at Hollywood & Vine.
Bits of Lillian’s sadness:
only her own hands
to soothe peach-scented cream
on thinning skin; the left hand
that trembles, the skin brown
& dotted as an owl’s wing.
A photograph kept under starched sheets,
Clark Gable, his dazzling, crooked smile,
hidden from the sight of sister Ruth;
and next to Clark rests Lillian
in sepia, at eighteen, looking dreamy,
up and away from the camera, ready
to begin the life that never comes.
Only fantasy is treasure, the careful
gift she never shares, but unlocks
in the great darkness
so as not to grieve too long,
to welcome the deeper sleep that comes.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.