"Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote Dance"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
July 3 2012 6:45 AM

"Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote Dance"


Undated file photo shows US actress Marilyn Monroe a few weeks before she died in 05 August, 1962.

Photograph by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Patrick Ryan Frank read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

 

 

 

 



—El Morocco, New York, 1955

Darling, let’s forget the details, dull
as they always are: who’s here and not, the room

as hot as breath and the orchestra lisping through
another number about love and harmless fun.

Let’s someday remember it better, romantically vague.
Let’s say I wanted to dance and so did you,

not pressed by the others together, no picture taken
of us spun drunken out from what’s behind

our looks and jokes and what is said, the sum
of all this goddamn work. Just a dance—

just sweet, like everybody sweetly else,
a man and woman sweetly moved. I know

no one forgets the ugly things they’ve known,
and yes, I know that love, for us, is sweat

and panic and some cameras, but it’s still love,
and we’ve done nothing wrong. So let them laugh

and then forget it all: those drinks and pills,
hands wet, that man who, grinning, made us dance

so here we are, we’re dancing. Let’s just pretend
that one of us—who would remember who?—

slipped through the grand and glittered dark and said,
Hello, fella. Hello and take my hand.

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