Gilda


An image of Rita Hayworth’s face advertising the popular film Gilda was pasted on the bomb used for nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll.


When we’re together I’m in a dream world

covered with cellophane

under a final lacquer of black paint

in a jet called Dave’s Dream

dropped onto the Bikini Atoll

but just

for testing

I hate you so much  I think that I am going to die from it

the soldier pastes the Esquire ad

on the flat steel belly of the jet

and writes GILDA on the side

It’s a marquee, he is the manager

of his hometown cinema

who is a little boy

who is a fat man

no a little boy

Nobody has to apologize

projected on the wall of the room

while the soldiers sleep

Isn’t it wonderful?

In the final scene Gilda and Johnny exit

through a hotel bar

closed for the season

furniture draped in sheets

someone says

I’m no past and all future, see?

Talking was still a novelty in film

speech had always been there

the technology had not

Alison Powell’s work has recently appeared in journals such as A Public Space, Boston Review, Copper Nickel, Prairie Schooner, and was recently featured on www.poets.org. Her first book On the Desire to Levitate won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and was published by Ohio University Press in 2014. Powell received her PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2014. She is now an Assistant Professor of English at Oakland University.

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