Morals About Marilyn

It wasn’t the unwitting look I took
of Marilyn Monroe’s decapitated cadaver
Her fur coat draped over the welcome mat
in one conclusive squirrel caper
that kept me from sleep that night

Nor was it her detached eye
Trusting in its everyday gaze
while eating walnuts I tendered
Now cast in an ogle of eternal accusation
Unnoticed by my cat cleaning her paws nearby
But accepted by me in split-second accountability

Before I scraped the carcass with closed eyes
and disposable gloves into the garbage
To enforce final rites
onto the city sanitation office
Reckoning the plastic body bag
showed enough respect for a squirrel

It was that last line of reasoning
that wouldn’t rationalize into repose
As it scampered across the bedroom
Incarnate in a furry little phantom
performing comedic acrobatics
That summoned me outside at midnight

into Marilyn’s make-do coffin
Where I laid her body on a linen napkin
Stroked the white buxom chest with bare hands
And embalmed her with saline solution
for a flashlight-lit funeral

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About the Author

Ellaraine Lockie is widely published and awarded as a poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. Her fourteenth chapbook, Sex and Other Slapsticks, was recently released from Presa Press. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. She also teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, LILIPOH.

Ellaraine Lockie
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