The Movie Version

by Elaine Equi

I am reading Emily Dickinson
when suddenly her poem begins speaking
in the voice of Mia Farrow - a young Mia
as she was in Rosemary’s Baby

recites: "Heart! We will forget him!
You and I - tonight!" with resolution
in her strange faux English accent
as if she were speaking about Frank Sinatra.

And later I hear Haley Mills and Grace Kelly
try on the same line but with less conviction
so ultimately, it is Mia Farrow who stars
in my movie version, with her long hair

dyed blue-black and later crew-cut.
Mia Farrow who stands at the top of a stair
clutching a knife. "You may forget the warmth
he gave - I will forget the light!"

Mia Farrow in Victorian nightgown. Mia Farrow
in a poorboy and skirt, walks by herself,
visiting each word slowly as if it were a grave
on which she places the next word.

"When you have done pray tell me
That I may straight begin!"
Mia Farrow hails a cab. "Haste! lest while
you’re lagging I remember him!"

Last updated February 23, 2023