In The Last Temptation of Christ, Satan says,
“Only one woman exists in the world, one woman
with countless faces.” You used to believe this.
When you were eight, you were taken by Eden,
by the thousand-plus nights her belly implied.
You dreamed your own concubine crammed
in a bottle, any bottle. Space capsule. Fine wine.
Eventually, Genie gave way to Fonda, the scene
in Cat Ballou where the titular star’s imprisoned
in her underwear, awaiting the gallows for crimes
against men. Cotton fabric, eyelet edging, Victorian
closure. Such fantasies alternated with ads
in the backs of comics: posters of Welch in buck-
skin bra, panther panties. One million years,
giant iguanas…. Nothing could have kept you
from that descent. Later, Dickinson, undressed
to kill, wanking in the shower. Finally, though,
it was Wagner—six-million-dollar dreadnought,
bionic, more able than Eve—who strong-armed
you toward perfection. She fell from the sky,
couldn’t be killed. Those men tried to fix her.
You loved what they couldn’t rebuild.