The fake gold razor blade
you wore around your neck
stopped me cold today,
as I sifted through my jewelry clutter.
I still can’t bring myself to watch
“Philadelphia,” knowing you
were an extra who didn’t need direction
to play a dying man.
In the office, when you admired
my thick chain bracelet, I handed it over
for your gold-tone bauble.
The blade was a joke, of course, accessory
to jeans and gym-pumped muscles,
our impromptu “West Side Story” duets,
“We’re gonna rumble
tonight!” in the magazine’s hall.
I understood everything the weekend
I encountered you at a Bette Davis
feature. Eyes lowered, you mumbled,
not introducing your boyfriend.
He could have been your twin,
but I doubt he could quote
Lord Byron or recite the names
of every pope since 1500. I loved you.
For years after you left New York,
I’d think I saw you, always turning the corner.
Now you’ve returned in online obits,
glimpses of your life from that ravaged time,
and a dull mix of fingerprints
that clings to our razor blade.
Maria Terrone is the author of three poetry collections, Eye to Eye, published by Bordighera Press in May 2014, A Secret Room in Fall and The Bodies We Were Loaned, as well as a chapbook, American Gothic, Take 2.