20100312

Letitia Trent


The Dreamers (dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003)

We want inside them           brother and sister
                                                                            good skin
                               and a punctuating angel boy
                                              lipped as any innocent

all crumbling beautifully

we settle
for mumbles and fuzz
      in the theater       whirs                               listen—

the cracked eggshell edge
                                              blood
                               against her lips


smokes over dishes
                               hard clicking kisses

Shadows move drunk
        in and out of arguments

                               we inhale
                               the girl's throat
                                               the made bed
                                  her sweet flower
                   belly up
                                her eyes

                               heavy                sleep sorry

                               you aren't in
                                               this movie


Baby Doll (dir. Elia Kazan, 1956)

We got a lovely rococo frame
for her in hair ribbons: doesn't she laugh
so heavenly? There in her marriage house
the film leaves holes—each leaf-littered
childlike moment, the sexiest cinema thumbsucking.

We got a lovely rococo frame
for her to be the one
who desires. There's just something
about a child when tickled, a pencil mustache,
like a hole punching through 1956.

A lovely rococo frame for her crib, so glad
desiring. Desire sweeps up the rafters in
heroine disorder and what the body wants, the body
wants her desirable in his lips.

There was just something about
that child. It is possible
for me to cry before a photograph of just her window.


Shivers (dir. David Cronenberg, 1975)
I had a very disturbing dream last night. It bit. It wiggled up the drain and into my ear. In this dream I find myself making love to a strange man. I am afraid of strangers, by inclination, by nature. Only I am having trouble, you see, because he’s old, and he’s dying, and I find him repulsive. Some sickness sticks like a horse pill in my throat. But then he tells me that everything is erotic. The many-windowed high rise, wall-to-wall carpet, the breast of green shock around it. That everything is sexual. Blood in its warm, hidden rivers, on the pavement, on the parasol. You know what I mean? He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh, that disease is the love of two kinds of alien creatures for each other. You think I exaggerate? I don't even know what your big, pale forehead hides—your dead, calm eyes. Get this. Even dying is an act of eroticism—a final heave, a release of everything essential onto the floor. Breathing is sexual; even to physically exist is sexual. See how I inhabit this hollow, how I live inside it? And I believe him, and we make love beautifully.




Letitia Trent's work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Denver Quarterly, Blazevox, and Folio, among others. Her chapbook, The Medical Diaries, is available from Scantily Clad Press. She has recently finished a manuscript of poems about films.

 
 
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