POEM XLIV: “LIKE YOU BETTER WITHOUT YOUR BERETTA”

If you have to be a Bond girl,
you could do worse than to be Sévérine.

Your end will be quick,
and your last night will be spent
in a well-lit shower on a boat with Daniel Craig,
which is not too bad, as last nights go.

Of course, you’ll have to climb a ladder of evil men
to get to him.
Starting at twelve
in a house that tattoos you
you’ll be ridden like a ruminant
until you wind up the property
of a man so ghastly he requires
his own private Chernobyl
to vacation in.

But again I say: this is not so bad,
compared to the many ways that a Bond girl
can die.
You can be shot, of course,
or tortured,
drowned, crushed, poisoned,
suffocated in gold paint (or crude oil, if gold isn’t your color)
and there’s always the option of suicide
if you want to save him the trouble;
though I wouldn’t blame you if,
like Sévérine,
you wanted to stand up straight and glare.

The first of all Bond girls
to face her accuser
she stares out at us
as we ready the firing squad
(the rocks for the stoning, the knife for the scapegoat)
in the oldest of rituals.

Meet her gaze.

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