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
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
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.