Victoria

The woman who plays piano
In the lobby
Wants romance.
We sing Joni Mitchell songs,
“Picked up a pencil
and wrote, ‘I love you’
in my finest hand.”

And she demands poetry.

She loves my writing.
She is “a great writer, but it’s not what [she]
Does.
This is what [I] do.”

I don’t tell her I am an actor
And this is all casual-
Hardly professional.

I take the compliment.

She can’t read this one,
Though.
It reminds her of the movie
Drive.
Such an ending
Should be reserved
For fleeting images
And half squinted eyes.

“This one’s real,”
I tell her.

A truth that hit the air too heavily
for our business rapport to bear.

“I can tell these other ones must be…”

No, just this one.
I can dream up all sorts of
Romantic scenes,
But not death.

I am about to come back to her
As the cycles of our work weeks
Converge.

I am about to disappoint her.

I have no words
To inspire melodies
Sultry or fair.
Joni might be able to,
But I,
I’ve another tale of foul play
Swinging from the sinews
Of my mind.

Vickie,
She did not choose
To end up in such a state.
She vanished
In the kind of ending
That illusively exists
In newsprint.

I looked up the incident
To be sure,
Although I was told her picture
Had been on T.V. –
Although I was told
They were watching all night
To see if the image might change;
Transform into a stranger.

I saw her there
In computerized ink,
“Victoria.”

I guess she would have been,
A Victoria,
If we must be formal.
We still grieve
In such a vernacular.

And in this way,
She is a queen
Caught up in modern tragedy.
She is
Iconic now.

She is-
For the benefit of my pianist-
Victim of a love affair’s
Demise.
She is-
For the bereavement of her family-
A civilian casualty,
Innocent in all matters of lust
and faulty marriages.

© Shea Depmore
Steal money.. not words.

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