Gossip is the last great oral tradition.
The best gossip begins like kindling
ignited and fanned to flame.
Rising out of the ashes
of a divorce, her life in foreclosure,
the housewife must reauthor herself:
she unzips the old skin and begins anew
under the knife of a celebrity surgeon
reputed to be shrewd. Voila! She resurfaces
post-surgery with lips ballooned.
At a dinner party from hell, one wife
sidelines another wife: Why were you alone
with my husband? The night
is suddenly electric. Tragedy
is two women trapped within
the eternal return of the same
cocktail dress. The wives weave
felicitous texts upon a theme
after the pageantry of the baby
bump, pregnant in heels.
Now there’s talk
of the It Girl
whose boob job on live TV
went woefully awry. OMG,
the tête-à-tête of misaligned titties,
adventures in surgery
left her with a pair of unsynchronized swimmers.
The glitterati say the only thing worse
than being blogged about
is not being blogged about.
The wives fawn over the tawdry tweeted
snark, pleased to read
of the airing out of a mistress’ dirty
string-thong bikini. Ladies! We’ve enough
white wine to go around. Between the sweet tinkling
of tall-stemmed, sugar-rimmed glasses
and a chorus of chitchatting ex-wives,
a villainista eagle eyes
her rival across a dinner table, deliciously
plotting, she tears into a bleeding tenderloin
with her bright teeth, encircles the Other Woman
in her sniper’s crosshairs
and with furor loquendi
she Pearl Harbors her enemy:
You need to close your legs to married men.
A terrorista hurls a Molotov cocktail
in the shape of a pink martini
as emery boarded claws surface to air
with vengeance. There is girl-on-girl
action, there’s a woman threatening to release
a night-vision sex tape to the paparazzi.
And now a close-up money shot
of a blonde: high-volume teased hair, hotpink
lipsticked lips agape upon
viewing the redhot, six-inch long
stiletto her rival unhooves
wielding it as a weapon.
Brava! Climax. Shoegasm. Finish her! shouts
one who obviously never heard of finishing school.
All the weeklies will moralize
how it’s all fun and games
until someone’s husband hangs
himself. At home
the injured wife ices her wound with a bloody
mary to the rescue. She fronts the mirror,
touches up her blush, embalms her lips
to match the living
room walls, gunmetal
gray. Each day
adds a new pearl
to the necklace
She stares into her mirrored face—a farce
of a cry pantomimed, a comedy
more Chaplinesque than burlesque—
she speaks into the mirror, which speaks
into the camera, and in turn to our TV:
I’m not here to make friends.
Originally published in Fugue