Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cheri's Marriage [revised]

I tell Cheri she should see Dominique Sanda at seventeen.
She checks out Une Femme Douce from the town library.
She’s six years older than the unnamed woman Sanda is.
Cheri remembers being married, how after three months
her sky broke open. She had known him three years.
Three weeks passed before he beat her the first time.
No wonder she wants to go to London, then the Philippines.
America is too toxic. The smell in the smalltown air, even.
She says to me, "I thought it was a strong film, but why
are the people so wooden? Doesn’t anybody have a soul?"
I try to tell her that Bresson thought soul was what you see
when cool takes over the bodies moving through images
until sound or silence strikes like flint flaring invisibly,
and that is soul. She said she liked best the suicide scene,
loved seeing it at the beginning and at the end. The patio
wreckage, the sound of it first, then the billowing scarf
following her down where she lies in her bright crimson.
In those images were the only grace Bresson made visible.
Her husband could not find the words to spell his feelings.
Cheri said she had wanted to love, "that’s all, I didn’t know."

(after Bresson’s Une Femme Douce)

(27 November 2012)

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