Enter Smiling Carolyn Bessette
after “Another Day” by Stephen Dunn
Girl as pioneer: she fits the bill perfectly, she is fresher
than the unbidden moon, which has followed her to this
collection of roundness, a hyper-elegant orchard devoid
of laughter or insight or real fruit. She nightmares, fitful,
throws a fit, is nightmarish. Carolyn charms, sells,
and rescinds the charm—she has held your emotions hostage,
torture named desire, the succubus that invades sanctuary.
When the moon rises in the early evening, she is there to bite.
In Wyoming, or some other great midwestern state
where Caro never studied being social or shouted in a park,
some untamed mare snorts canyon dust, while elsewhere
near Camelot another dust is prepared by a tall palamino.
She experiences no crises of faith, because faith is found
only in dressing rooms, ballrooms, any crowded room
where she might revise the persona—ars simulacro—
and hook another easy-catch trout peeking from the river.
She tinkers, dawdles, strays, commands. No man keeps her.
After the aircraft accident, she lived in the conditional—
would have, should have. Charm is a sort of magic,
devil-sent to punish the soft pioneer, for allowing herself to be
kept, tethered by a man, hooked the way she had hooked
unapologetically. Her grounding was caused by spatial
disorientation, bitten moon charming the pilot and drowning
the succubus, who was tied to the plane seat to watch
Icarus her husband fly too close to the devastating moon.