9.5 / May 2014


I dreamed I was Marilyn Monroe, and I kissed me.
       I was so surprised.
I said, “Marilyn honey, I thought we were dead!”

“It is so wonderful to see us,” I chimed in.
       “I missed us so much.”
I took my face in my hands and looked so deep
       into my eyes I had to look away.
“Woah. Okay.”

“Let’s get dressed and go get breakfast?” I suggested.
       “Yes,” I agreed.
“But I just have to say I am such a wonderful sight.
       Nothing’s been the same without me, Marilyn.”

We got dressed. I wore blue, I wore red, and I kissed
       me again
because I could, because I was beautiful, because I’d
       missed me so much.
I was blonde, I was brown, fifteen and thirty-five
       and smiling like sunrises
except in my eyes. We went to a 50’s theme diner
       pretending not to see
the grubby pierced teenagers staring at me,
       at me, at us.
Eating buttered toast, eggs, black coffee and bacon
       a short stack of pancakes
smeared with grape jam, while under the table
       I kept squeezing
my adorable knee. I simply couldn’t keep my hands
       off me.
Couldn’t stop smiling sunrises at me and I was used
       to the part
about the sadness in my eyes. I didn’t even care
       it was so good
to see me, to see us alive again, after all of the
       wondering, the searching
and lies. The answers all trapped in loose white

It had been awful without me

and as we got up to leave I took my hand tightly like I
       might never let go again.
I was kind of hurting me but we understood
       what we meant.
We understood that Norma Jeane Marilyn sometimes
       needed to hold so tightly
because we could feel the world spinning,
       and the abyss
was filled with purgatory and we could hear the
       silence like screaming,
and no matter how much beauty we shined we could
       never lose the taste of nothingness.

I grasped my hand even more tightly as we strolled
       down the street
like bosom buddies with the most famous bosom
       in the world.
It was like old times, imaginary times really,
       when we had time
for a day to just be a girl feeling the sun warm on
       our glowing skin.
“If only it could always be like this,” I said to the
       me in red,
and I could not believe what I had just heard us say.
       “Dammit!” I hissed.
“These bonds can only bring me grief with men,
       and now this?
Not just a woman but my very own self? How many
       times must I say it?
I see inside. I know what we hide and I refuse to
       ever face it.
Not for us, not for anyone! And I may be somewhat
but we are not my type.”

The sun was still bright on the sidewalk but we were
       trembling blue and red
and I shook me, screaming, “It was just breakfast!”
       But I wrenched
away, running down the street in high heels, until…
staring at my beautiful back until… until…

Until I woke up.
I kind of stumbled to the bathroom, flipped on the
       light and squinted
at my pale, greasy, bed-headed, funky-breathed
And then I kissed me.

Cheryl Maddalena is a poet, mommy, engineer, and psychologist... but not all at the same time. Slammaster of Boise, she has reached National Poetry Slam, Individual World Poetry Slam, and Women of the World Poetry Slam finals stages as a competitor, backup dancer, emcee, and opening act. Gold star!
9.5 / May 2014