Bride Wars
2009, Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson

What you want are simple things. But someone else complicates them. And we live to reach the apex. Skin has a silk sheen. Hair has long wiry run like stockyards. Stockings keep the bad skin from getting out. Running, running. Your makeup. Your mannequin. And we all feel like this but someone needs to say it. But we all are running into another café. Into another beehive catacomb salon. Our mothers were nails and machines affixed to tables. And eyes are layered upon like historic buildings caked in mortar. And actress is a secondary term and empowerment is an almost-as-high platform for the secondary. Follow your friends past sleepy men, as if working, in a long line. Everyone is just a snippet away from vomiting. Here it comes again. That cute toy dog is chained to a fence outside a busy restaurant. And we all go to the bachelorette party and everyone has a moment. And everyone’s cocktails are bright. And you rip an outfit and there are dozens more. Diamonds, chocolates, fruit baskets, piles of sheen-waxed flowers are melting supports of falling architecture. Moments like pink tiny presents in black lace bows, like eggshell white bags with silver letters. For the guests. Welcome, welcome. The room is fortunate with white. Friends by proximity, red fingernail sized snacks on trays. Women like spider webs, their brown hair in careful trusses. Their chatter and when they do they put their hands on their chests and look as if they’ll say “I know” at every moment. They are all waiting for their moment and the hallway is narrowing. Their eyes warm from the pressure. Beauty is an adjective, noun, and verb. But what it really is runs like blood into drains in the floors of the abattoirs. Purchase it prepackaged and you won’t know. And the man who caged it works a job in finance and has pattern baldness. His eyes look ahead and if he had a thought balloon what would be in it would be what he was looking at. And he looks sitting in his unfurled tux and says you are beautiful slowly but steadily. And he is thinking that and for a minute it’s like your arm has slipped through the bars of a cage and you feel inside from the outside. Here come the blades, quick, a wobbling mirage. That is what grateful means. And New York, it’s been such a journey. Smiling Hispanic limo drivers, black assistants with PDAs and sass. We all learn together and swirl like think, warm fluid down tiled floors with drains. I’m about to scream. People learn to protect themselves in this place where architecture is the heel of a high heel. Always almost as high as the highest but getting closer. Please don’t do this. Your best friend became your worst enemy for the same reasons she was your friend. And Candice Bergan’s in it and she pauses a lot. She’d bind the feet of concubines if she wasn’t an actress. And you turn your head with your eyes closed and this is a moment. Now it’s your time. And you shift in your chair. And it’s funny to prepare for war. And strike your sister when she doesn’t expect it. And there’s nothing there. Call this the female war. I don’t know why I am so afraid all the time anymore. And you were kept because you were wild.

by Russell Jaffe

previous scene next scene

Poetry at the Movies