Friday, May 24, 2019

darling mary

My poem "Darling Mary," which appeared in audio form on the lovely podcast Other People's Flowers.

Darling Mary

-after Julie Christie

The world relief billboard peeled
for my lips—medallion neck-
lace, brushed over Dankworth’s
with lilting jazz. My story begins
as Mary staring out in a stable scene.
I want to feel not so terribly Chelsea
out of the phone booth swinging
handbag, polka dot scarf, binoculars.
I toss my fur to the bed, kicking off
my kitten heels into the white shag.
To get by, to turn heads, I have to be
frightfully lean, smoking Kent’s
inside another glass condo up
in polluted haze. I carry Revelation
luggage and cablegrams. I want to be
The Happiest Girl in the World. I am only
a face on a billboard. Let me stew here.
Once, from the nativity, I pulled out
Mary and felt the hard ridges
of her blue robe—I wanted to be her,
blond and all wrapped up, nothing to
touch me but myself and dust,
a lone wolf in permanent prayer.

-Jeffery Berg

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