Poetry by Cece Peri
Bride of Frankenstein
for Elsa Lanchester
We have waited for her, breathless, through two reels.
She is conspicuously late. Right away,
there are signs things will not go well. See,
she’s high-strung and wrapped up in herself. But to the men
in the laboratory, and us in the audience, everything’s
forgivable in a seven-foot, grave but glamorous woman.
After all, she has put on a stylish dress, gotten her hair
smartly streaked and uber-permed. And she has caught
the eye of the groom. We are ready to see sparks fly.
The groom finds her appealing. He reaches
for this woo-man. She has found something appealing, too,
but it is not him. She is fixed on
her new legs, wants them to move more smoothly.
Wants her feet to set down more gently. Then,
she can get stockings and sling-backs.
Wedding bells cue the doctor to bring the couple together,
but she resists. Her face looks like someone, perhaps the groom,
has emitted a foul odor. Still, the doctor persists, forcing her
to find a voice. She screeches, hisses,
as in hissssss face is unsightly, hissssss hands clumsy,
hissssss jacket inelegant, hissssss happiness is not my concern.
And this is it, the moment in the movie when we all hang
suspended in the knowledge that there will be no wedding
at the castle today. Electricity jolts
through the children’s section of the Culver Theater
where I watch this luminous creature throw a kiss-
my-ass bouquet directly to me—and I reach.
Previously published in Speechless the Magazine
Cece Peri is a poet and visual artist. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies including Malpais Review, Luvina, Askew, NoirCon, Literary Alchemy, Beyond the Lyric Moment, and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. A New Yorker, she now lives in Los Angeles. When not writing or making art, she likes tinkering with her website: ceceperi.com.