Smileys

22 Apr 2014

To use one, you have to be in
the right frame of mind. If you grin

and set your eyes just the right
way-- fully open and shifting with fright

and anticipation in the same moment like some
jewel thief or first time drug user from

the city. You have to first lift
the corpse, arms around the hips,

and move her to a couch or love seat,
then pin the eyes open and neatly

cover the pins with make-up. Then cross and bend
her legs and place one of her hands

on her knee, fashioned like a lady
would. But she still looks extinct

like old bones in a museum,
or a mannequin who never was. But she,

indeed, was. So you invent the Smiley;
nothing complex but a couple of small pieces

of wire bent just so. They fit
with an orthodontic precision

but, more importantly, they bring a smile to this girl
bigger than any in her lifetime--bigger than a new bride's or

new mother's. You see how happy this girl is
and you take pictures and celebrate with her.

[circa 1988]

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