Most of my poems are tombstones
and so my notebook is a graveyard, where stories are buried,
after the bodies that made them, have already found their place in soil.
But with you Vickie,
it’s different. Your body was found 2 months ago, and still
you haven’t been laid to rest.
There is the custody battle; there are denials
and assertions. Accusations and details in the paper
about the lines we could have traced across your tattoos:
Marilyn Monroe, Playboy bunny, the name of your son
who died just months before you.
The gossip tv shows love to make you a punchline,
a parody of yourself disguised as mourning:
How drugs broke up your first marriage, how they
made you skinny again, and killed you in the end.
They use your stage name to persuade us not to change the channel:
find out what Anna Nicole did the night before she died,
after these words
Just another joke that you’re not in on. The world can laugh from the safety
of their own bruised egos.
like there she goes, making a fool of herself,
even after death.
Your mistakes are well documented, so much so,
that everyone is qualified to pass judgment,
speculate on who’s responsible for your death, and your life
about how bad a mother you must have been,
about how you were a slut, and a gold digger,
and that’s the price of fame when you sell yourself like that
and they forget that nobody gets through life untouched.
that all of us have made bad choices,
trusted the devious
acted on the wrong impulses
we just didn’t do it naked in front of a camera,
not in front of men fantasizing they might one day
meet us under the right situation to seduce us into bed.
Not in front of thousands of pre-teen boys with their hands down their pants.
I told you most of my poems were tombstones
and so it is with this.
You deserve a peaceful spot in the ground
as much as anyone.
While the rest of the world wants to pretend you’re alive
So they can keep pointing and laughing,
I’m laying you to rest, in hopes that one day,
everybody who says they loved you
will do the same.
copyright Giles Li, 2007