DC PLACES ISSUE

Karren LaLonde Alenier


AGAINST THE WALL
For Norma Jean, Marilyn or S

At Calvert and Connecticut
she watches.
All I remember is her face
larger than a window
flung open in spring
that face floating
above brick, mortar,
and cement. Her bleached
hair expands the white
of her eyes, eyes that steal
light from the passerby.
Rumor says she shared
lipstick with my mother
as they strolled arm in arm
down a runway lined
with impatient men,
each holding out his will.

At Calvert and Connecticut
she beckons, what will
you do, she whispers
with petulant lips. Mom,
I shout from a café where
drinking wine with a friend
I glimpse the beauty
pageant, of pliant skin
and curving body receding
down the avenue.
With a playful skip,
she remains a child,
that child, Arthur Miller says,
whose spirit we cannot chase,
best to rest in place and let her
return with love.

At Calvert and Connecticut
I'll see her there,
up against that wall.

 

 

Karren LaLonde Alenier is author of five collections of poetry, including Looking for Divine Transportation (The Bunny and the Crocodile Press), winner of the 2002 Towson University Prize for Literature. Her poetry and fiction have been published in such magazines as: the Mississippi Review, Jewish Currents, and Poet Lore. Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On, her opera with composer William Banfield and Encompass New Opera Theatre artistic director Nancy Rhodes, premiered in New York City in June 2005.


Published in Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.

 

To read more by this author:
Karren Lalonde Alenier
Alenier's Tribute to Archibald MacLeish: The Memorial Issue

Karren L. Alenier: Audio Issue