Jackie Don’t You Go
By Dianne Pearce
when your heart relaxes
suicide looks like the ultimate life absurdity
You’re no fat night crawler squirming for the hook,
the carp’s mouth
You didn’t come yelling into this world just to leave before the show ends.
Have you opened your nose tonight?
Pump out your ribs and smell the Brugmansia trumpets
If the blooms hang down they call them angels
If they rise up they call them devils
It seems the wrong way ‘round altogether
but they are irresistible in either direction
And why are they here, deadly dangerous but so ravishing, so beguiling,
so good for nothing
beyond being pretty
beyond making the evening smell lovely.
Oh, Jackie, so silly,
no no no
how could you ever want to go
when world smells sweet under moon glow
and anyway how do you know
that you too aren’t just here for show-
Or here for smell?
I bet you there is something living among us that absolutely wants to lick the air as you walk by…
Wow… Jackie, Girl, that’s you, Baby, and only you, the perfect selection
Take another turn around the block, Honey
Shake out your skirt, your hair, your wings
Let your beautiful tumble down around you
Because you are full of beautiful
the site, the sound, the smell of you
the inside and the out of you
the dark thoughts and the light
We’ve never seen you before and we’ll never know your like again
Girl, what you don’t seem to know
is that the porch swing still creaks and swings, creaks and swings and never breaks
That the stars in the sky have tiny glitter flowers
like the clusters of little purple ones on stolen lilacs,
and they gladly
onto your new hairdo, your tanned hands, your cute feet bare slapping on the porch boards
You could let yourself sit under the fall of star flowers
You could let yourself listen to the creaking swing
You could let yourself smell smell smell
all the sweet trumpets of heaven and hell.
C’mon and admit it with me
that certain evenings, like tonight, the heart relaxes
That there’s still plenty of untried lips
Truly nothing done that can’t be undone
right down to the marriage and the mortgage
As long as you stick around to undo it.
The day after the next one you might be in the right place at just the right time
As long as you are someplace, and not no place
As long as your secret smell
that you don’t even know you have
still exists to waft around the neighborhood
for no reason except to call attention to the beauty that is you
to cause someone to want to lick the air as you go by
Girl, that’s you, all you, damn.