Jenny Arthur

Letter to Marlo Brando

When your embryonic cells were falling all over themselves,
your spine hardened up your back
like a zipper, the start of your career
as a beautiful bifurcated creature.
I admire the way your face came out.
My source was more puritan, slapping down possibilities
until I took form
in leftover values and dimensions.
My palate would not shut.
I have come for advice
to you, the noblest
effort of American humanity, the least imperfect
crystal grown under the evil forces
of gravity. If anyone could burst through
a dirty t-shirt, you could.
I want a body like yours, a resistance
doomed and exquisite,
voice full, lungs full, yelling into it all
I am exactly and completely right
I want to die huge. Marlon Brando,
I was a born failure. I would not seal, afraid
to be weak enough to name, and to this day
I hate everything but what I cannot understand
and what cannot love me. Marlon Brando,
I am under tremendous pressure.