Marlene Dietrich is singing a lament
for mechanical love.
She leans against a mortarboard tree
on a plateau by the seashore.
She’s a life-sized toy,
the doll of eternity;
her hair is shaped like an abstract hat
made out of white steel.
Her face is powdered, whitewashed and
immobile like a robot.
Jutting out of her temple, by an eye,
is a little white key.
She gazes through dull blue pupils
set in the whites of her eyes.
She closes them, and the key
turns by itself.
She opens her eyes, and they’re blank
like a statue’s in a museum.
Her machine begins to move, the key turns
again, her eyes change, she sings.
—you’d think I would have thought a plan
to end the inner grind,
but not till I have found a man
to occupy my mind.