Even the Thin Man in dapper robe leered
at his wife from his twin bed. We imagine
him getting up in the night and crossing over,
crossing this great divide dotted in bed
slippers. Nora, Nora, he would pipe, you
are far away and the moon rises, champagne
chills on the nightstand. She is coy. And we
only imagine the unbuttoning, the layers
of frothy negligee disappearing off screen.
We grew up in black and white, separated
from our father’s desires, our mother’s
cloaked sighs. Her apron was spotless all
day. Each night she posed before her mirrored
armoire. A mock rehearsal. Brushing, brushing
—one hundred strokes until her hair shone like Troy’s
Helen. But he lay an aisle away and knew her tresses
were a trick, that he would not transgress.
Her hand, as always, hovers on the lamp
switch. Good night, she says. There is everlastingly
The Kiss. A quick fumble, the camera’s pan.