holding roses for her;
a bloom for every head in the rabble.
She took him on--
her personal little rooster.
He made love to her as if in timelapse--
an ardent insect skittering adoringly along her body.
She could have kept him in a jar, or a desk drawer.
The war came, then.
The sun went off-kilter, tilting drunkenly into the further reaches of the canals.
What use, anymore, for filmmakers
or their gaudy chattering treasures wearing ridiculous gowns,
smiling automatically at the invading armies?
Her last film was a dark comedy
released with subtitles and smuggled to the West
only to languish in a storage locker,
as round and unheeded as the lessons of history
in its circular tin container.
Her rooster was never meant for difficult times,
and he became tubercular--
within a month, he drifted through the bedroom curtains like a ghost,
and took to living with a flock of crows
as their underling,
but yet, he was flying, wasn't he?
She missed Antonio
and the competition of auditions and readings.
Feeling bitchy and out of sorts, she joined the underground.
Wearing berets and trench coats, they taught her to handle a rifle
and to shoot fat-faced officials through the heart.
It was her ingenue days all over again.
Antonio and the now-faded diva met again after the war,
on a single occasion,
at a hotel in Suwanee, Georgia.
She ordered gin through a heavy accent,
and he flipped his good wing, tiredly.
After a silence, they both spoke at once--
"Do you remember..." they began, and then laughed.
It was, by then, the only thing to say,
and it was enough.