Miss Bankhead’s Invitation to Dinner

by Emily Haworth-Booth

I had seduced everyone from here to Times Square
And further. Well, everyone except for her.

So I prepared dinner for two, raw fish and candlelight.
I told her directions, I told her Tuesday night.

If Oppenheim was the Garbo of Montparnasse, then what was she?
Late. I expected her for two hours, gave up at three.

Then after ten, a Chinese girl’s shown in. Red lips, black wig.
I look at her out of the corner of my eye. Like this.

Miss Garbo could no come but send me, Miss.
So we sit down. I watch her silver fingers mince the fish.

Then she bends over the oysters towards me.
The seams of my stockings. The edge of my seat.

And when it’s over its her own voice that says
(like butter) pleased to have met you Miss.