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James Dean with Pig

sty littered with corn husks.

By bishnu prasadPublished about a year ago 1 min read
James Dean with Pig
Photo by Christopher Carson on Unsplash

even without the image you can see it.

dean, black booted, bedroom-eyed

hair coiffed into its iconic pompadour.

he holds a hat turned up to the sky.

sty littered with corn husks. big animal

standing beside him. i’ve never seen

his films but know his shape. his name

performs the work of looking.

this photo taken on a trip back home

to the family farm in indy. what life

might have been had he not sought

the spotlight. [ the apocrypha

i love best, about his affair with brando.

sub & dominus. god & pig.

they met on a set. dean so loved him

he held him up like a father

& brando did what he wanted, put out

cigarettes on the boy, used a belt. ]

this photo’s taken in 1955 & it’s unclear

whether he carries the terror & pleasure

to come or if it’s waiting somewhere

beyond the lens. if he returned

to the farm knowing or if he returned

to the farm known. now both are dead—

one leaves behind films, the other only

meat & children, who perhaps

you, dear reader, have eaten

& in that eating

took pleasure.

fact or fictionlove poemsheartbreak

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