The baby-faced sexpot
interests me
not at all.

No, my thoughts recur
to the later Lana:

expensively dressed,
perfectly coiffed,
suffering, suffering,
in swell surroundings.

In films as in life,
her specialty
was taking the stand.

Though she often broke down,
sobbing, her woman's heart
unable to bear any more,
she was oddly blank:
a lacquered mask, lovingly lit
by expert technicians,
and sometimes wearing a turban.

What was it like to be Lana?
I think I know, a little.

I too have had to navigate my way
through messy divorces, the vagaries
of a career, the chaos
of underfinanced productions—
maintaining my composure
on take after take, the pro
who hits her marks, even as
she's falling to pieces—
I too have taken that deep, deep breath,
ready to testify, to confess,
to give my all, my everything—

which, when viewed in the dailies,
as the camera comes in for its closeup,
isn't that much.

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