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Sunday, 15 April 2018

That Was the MUSE That Was

Letter to Bertolucci


Sitting here in an airless, blindingly

lit hospital room, waiting for

the nurse to come back with the doctor.

I’ve always wanted to ask you, how

you conceived the idea of filming

The Last Emperor and how long it

really took to get permission from

the Chinese government.


The hospital gown is paper thin and

affords even less protection than

the clothing I wore, for the date he took

me on. The news broke yesterday,

about that young actress in your film.


Would you have called an ambulance for

her, to have a real siren wail in your movie?

Like the boy did when

I wouldn’t stop screaming.


P.S. I’d have sent you a glitter

bomb, except they don’t make

glitter in Paris anymore.


© Barbara O'Donnell


Barbara O'Donnell was born in West Cork and works full time in the NHS in London. Her poetry has been published in Black Sheep Journal, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Skylight 47.

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