Picture Perfect
1997, Jennifer Aniston

in darkness bedtime of unmade laundry
            a girl’s got choices and they shrug often
in that Aniston-face is
a popsicle stick with blue fuzzies
for eyes I held in arts and crafts, and Aniston, that day
I came home to find my house dark and supplies scattered
        we at last are home and through doors of bedrooms darkened
wherefrom the faces of the people we expect emerge grinning
to confront our utmost Anistons on the bed quipping
a girl’s got options and a girl’s got her reasons.
        the point is, honey, a fast girl these days replicates smells that take you places. we don’t need no dictator,
we don’t need the kind of boys who ask questions about our days, who lift our shirts up under covers, who make grand gestures and hand motions into dim lamps and who think marriage seals anything.
        you looked at me and said you remembered new york, parks, leaves, and how everyone in the movies run from the revolving doors that streak light messily and flag down, take taxi cabs
            ;             they symbolize the randomness of speed, the chance
of life. they aren’t your slow midwest. They don’t smell like lavender, just purple liquid and
girls in tanktops who walk square parking lots circular chainsmoking with boys in tight t shirts and oily black hair.
also, they get a working girl places. also, ugh, don’t get involved in this
           Aniston’s face is obscured only temporarily in this understanding.

            I yelled at my mom and collapsed on the bed—I did this for all women, even Aniston
herself, who’s always looking off and
has a script inside her head crumpled up like a hairdo and aloof smile.
at this hour
            we don’t need dictation
you looked at me like you wanted to say:

I’d love to hear more from you
            I know you have more to say

by Russell Jaffe

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Poetry at the Movies