INCUBATION OF A STAR
She plants her self
before a full-length Brooklyn mirror,
Noxemas away her mother’s makeup,
tests countless ploys
to coax the front row’s gaze
anywhere but Here she honks, there she blows!
Big Beak! Big Beak!, anywhere but
arms so scrawny her meshuggah mama
shipped her off to health camp
for fattening at age five.
In the waist-up audition
above their bathroom vanity
she cat-eyes eyeliner angles,
critiques collarbone and earlobes
four or five hours a day.
Next she cultivates the longest red fingernails
ever to read a part, favors offbeat necklines,
feathery earrings, slanted hats.
When her drag-queen pals play off catcalls,
she marks their technique.
Drops a letter from her forgettable forename,
practices a collection of odd gestures till they’re hers,
till she debuts on Broadway
with oh what a voice and oy what a schnozz
we have to applaud