Professor Christophe Keskesay adored beauty,
would have liked to wade right into it, if he could.
"You little troll," said his wife.
She had once been a dancer, but was now a horror,
sucking on black cigarettes,
and as wrinkled around the lips and eyes
as if she had kept them open while kissing Decay on the mouth.
Professor Keskesay could have forgiven her churlish bad temper.
He could have forgiven her grasping, shallow nature;
but her ugliness pained him to his core.
It seemed to him that the beauties of an earlier era
possessed a rare charm that had been somehow lost over time.
How they shone!
How their sepia faces made his heart quicken
and his soul expand!
Why would they not speak to him?
Finally, he could stand it no longer.
Sharp at midnight, he went to the famous cemetery where the beautiful slept.
He passed the poets, disregarded the financiers,
and strode straight to the marker of Babette Jolie-Fille
the celebrated star of the silents.
He dug her up.
"Still enchanting! Still a goddess!" he exclaimed,
casting away his shovel in order to embrace her.
From then on, the joyous Professor Keskesay could be seen
tooling about town in his 1929 convertible,
with Babette leaning against him, her scarves flowing in the wind.
Shyly, blushing like a girl, he confessed to her
that she made him feel more alive than he had felt in years!
How his fine sensitivity had been wasted on his gruesome wife!
He thanked her with diamonds, stoles, and endless passionate desire!
Though she never spoke, he understood her perfectly.
She was the Queen of the Silent Screen,
and to speak would only ruin everything.
How wise she was, in addition to her matchless beauty!
The Professor presently divorced his hideous cow of a wife,
and married Babette, in a necessarily private ceremony.
So composed she always was,
knowing how just the right pose and poise
could bring the world to her doorstep--
a dazzled Mountain coming, hat in hand, to her,
the most voluptuous and female Mohammed ever to grace the garden
where Professor Keskesay liked most to place her chair.
Together, of an evening,
they would watch melting, disintegrating celluloid reels
of Babette in her heyday,
the Professor scarcely glancing at the screen, but rather,
gazing continuously at her, seeing only her fineness and her pulchritude.
After many years of this, the Professor died--
his love had built to such a pitch, that his heart simply burst,
and he keeled over at Babette's tiny feet.
The silent vixen was buried in the cemetery for the famous,
with Professor Keskesay beside her--
her second interment, his first.
Some said she was rotted away,
nothing but bones and gray tendons in a bejeweled gown;
but to the Professor, she was always the ideal of feminine perfection,
and because of this, as any woman who's been truly loved could tell you,
she really was,
and their souls still entwine
demurely out of the sight of unbelievers.
for Izy's Out of Standard at Toads.