There are so many things I’m not allowed to tell you.
I touch myself, I dream.
Wearing your clothes or standing in the shower for over an hour, pretending
that this skin is your skin, these hands your hands,
these shins, these soapy flanks.
The musicians start the overture while I hide…
Frank Sinatra didn’t cry for friends Humphrey Bogart or Joe Kennedy but he cried for Billie Holiday. Sinatra visited Holiday on her deathbed in a run down New York facility, ‘Harlem Metropolitan Hospital.’ Holiday was dying of cirrhosis and she was dying from heroin…Three cops were stationed outside of her hospital door. A beautician was inside doing her hair and nails and she was smoking outside of her oxygen tent and begging the nurse to get her a beer. She’d say catchy things like “Don’t trust that bitch. She can take the gold out of your teeth while you’re chewing gum.” Holiday’s spirit was feisty but her body was defeated.
She was thrilled to see Frank Sinatra. He told her how much he loved her recent album ‘Lady In Satin’ and he tried to get her to talk about future projects. He told her, “I owe you so much for teaching me how to phrase when I was starting out with Harry James.” Holiday replied, “I may have showed you how to bend a note, Frankie, that’s all.” Later that day, Holiday’s liver failed and she went into a coma and died.
Sinatra locked himself in his penthouse and wept for two days, playing her songs and drinking and crying. I had never seen him hurt so much, not even for ex-wife Ava Gardner.”
-George Jacobs, Frank Sinatra’s valet
1. Are her lips like the hot chocolate your mother made
During the winter months when you were seven?
Or have you not tasted her well enough to find the fine granules of cocoa that lightly come with each kiss?
2. Do you know her favorite songs?
Not when she is happy, but when she is sad.
What music reaches inside her ribcage and softly consoles her heart?
3. When she is sad, are you on the phone or are you at her door?
Words do not wipe away tears, fingers do.
4. Do you know all the things that keep her up at night?
Do you know why she has gone three days without sleep?
Do you know of the insurmountable waves of sadness that wash over her like a tsunami?
5. Do you know the things to say that will calm her heartbeat? The places to touch? The places to love?
6. Every time you see her do you kiss her like it’s the last time, but love her like it’s the first?
7. Do you love her?
8. Do you love her?