Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando

by Alexander Mills, Class of 2023

My grandfather once took me 
to see Elia Kazan’s A Street Car Named Desire 

He was a Hercules in stature  
and a Hollywood stunt-man in profession 

It was at the local Birmingham cinema 

We sat four rows from the back and 
he devastated two large boxes of milk duds
in under forty seconds 

In my heyday, he said 
I did Marlon’s stunts  
I was Kurtz, I was Jor-El  

I didn’t believe him 

Now his breath smells of latex 
dentist gloves in your mouth 
he has trout lips and buoyant cheeks  
a tongue of wet clay 

He tells me how much it hurt him 
that I didn’t believe he was Marlon 

and he falls asleep on his recliner 

Plastic silverware on the armrest 
and a bowl of Quaker oatmeal 

His snores are bootseps on a Birmingham summer porch
looking up through lit cracks 

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