The Venetian

James Davis | Poetry

In my other life, I majored in theatre
instead of English. I speak instead
of write in the voice of the sister
I don’t have. Sister, I love you
even though you are fake
as the gondolas in that Venice-themed
hotel/casino on the Vegas strip
whose name I forget but sells Diane
von Furstenberg wrap dresses
for thousands of dollars—who has
that kind of money? In my other life,
I almost do. In my other life, I am famous
among the Houston theatre scene,
the Alley with its Regional Tony
glass-cased in the lobby like a holy relic,
Theatre Under the Stars with its fake
stars on the ceiling—I’ve played them all,
Bernard in Death of a Salesman, serious
and vaguely homosexual; Louis in Angels
in America, overtly homosexual, neurotic
and beautiful. I am seen. I don’t write
poems even for birthdays, don’t feel
even the slightest FOMO. And sister,
you come backstage after every opening
with a big bouquet of irises reeking
of grape soda. You tell me I was better
in Zoo Story, and you’re right,
as usual, in your knockoff Prada.