Saturday, July 28, 2007

In Your Version of Heaven I Am Younger

Rachel Zucker (2001)

In your version of heaven I am blond, thinner,
but not so witty. In the movie version of your version
of heaven you fight God to come back to me.
It is a box office hit because you are an unbelievable character.
Nothing is real except the well-timed traffic accident
which costs 226 thousand dollars.

In real life, I am on a small bridge over a small creek.
Then it isn't a bridge but a stadium. Then a low table.
A sense of knowing the future.
There is no clear location of fear.
I want you to say you will abandon your dissertation.
I want you to ask the man in the green scrubs if I was pregnant.

Put on the preservers! They announce. They are under your seats!
Time to tell your wife a few last things. People are puking
in the rows around us. The jackets sweaty and too big.
We are, in this version, an image of hope.
The broadcasters are just now sniffing us out.
I am pregnant but don't know it and can't know
that the fetus would have been, in any event, not viable.
No one survives. No one comes down with cancer.
The fade-out leaves a black screen over the sound of water.

The review says it is a film noir. The letter to the editor
says the reviewer should go back to college. The reviewer
is in graduate school writing a thesis about movies
that were never made. If they are made he will not get tenure.
If we die he has a small chance at success. A young woman
writes in: it should, more properly, have been called an embryo.

You say I have a dark vision. You buy me coffee and muffins
and cross the street safely. In this version you are there
when I come home. Night after night in bed
beside me. By day I watch the world your eyes watch:
the blondes, the redheads, the light blue baby jogger.
In this version the camera has a tiny light leak and the film,
after reediting, has no blond and no plane and no preservers.
No metaphysical struggle, no hero, no chance for financial success.

1 comment:

dan1968 said...

from The Best American Poetry (2001)