Just another sentimental tribute
to a dead movie star. A cigarette
winks out with these words as the earth shifts
minutely on its heartbreaking axis,
not in Los Angeles or Washington,
but the front steps of Renfield Street Odeon
now where living & our sense of being real
return, reluctantly & frail.
Time-filtered words, life’s not like in the movies,
old mascara running down the world’s wet face
for now, because it was, & too exact,
that perfect stunt of fiction turned to fact.
Such death requires no second takes,
no coming back, no rotoscoped effects.
Amazement, later, in a crowded city bar,
at death twice over, actor & character,
the make-up still in place, the camera lens
recording what can never be rehearsed.
You’re not really supposed to die up there
like in real life, bullet holes should disappear
& a sunset be walked into before
the end credits roll. At the Odeon door
we’d stood in silence & the pouring rain,
getting used to a very end, & ran
through a night tilted briefly the other way,
the stars projectionists, the world’s screen grey.