Death Is Like No Movie I Have Ever Seen: The Trailers

At the Miracle my young brother

saw death for the first time

in a shark called Bruce, Jaws swallowing

the onscreen boy on the raft in a chum wave

that rippled from the light, a death

that drenched every body in the shock

of a nature devouring everything it sees;

in an illusion real enough

to offend sight and bowel,

an odorama that forced my brother

to take my hand and escort him

to the bathroom since

he was too scared to pee alone.

I never told my mother, too embarrassed,

fearing her death stare, not wanting to

ruin her life of its last bright hope.

I just cut it into my trailer

until another screen, screening

protruded an alien from mid body,

sending him to the lobby to check himself,

so disgusted that he stopped masturbating

alone in the lightly dark room

of which I can see into like a glass coffin.

I thought I knew everything about him:

Had I killed his innocence again, I thought,

populated it with sharks and aliens?

Or had I innocently freed him of them?

All I knew is that I could never get him

to go to another horror movie again,

his trundled mind now occupied with

ballet— and Disney World— and cars.

He loved Fords. Hated Chevrolets.

And had all four of us stuck in the backseat

of a 1973 Chrysler station wagon;

himself, in a Ford mood, happily

existing in the middle of this

Carousel of Progress pretending movement

to a bright, big, beautiful tomorrow;

the happiest place on earth.

My mother died on a Chevrolet day,

while he planned the next Disney adventure,

September 18, 1987; the day of Fatal Attraction.

Between the trailers and the point

when the bunny boiled in the pot

something savage attacked her heart.

I don’t know what it was.

Maybe it was the shark

or just time for him to let her go?

The joke of life exists in the fact

that Bruce comes for us all;

the trailers run, the feature plays,

the credits roll— and we die on Chevrolet days.