The Mad Hatter’s Encore Tea Party

The Mad Hatter’s Encore Tea Party
Carolyn Moore

Only this time, he dons a servile mob-cap
and gender-bends as Marilyn Monroe.
Her skin as pale as parsnips, she holds a plate
of bananas high above a table lost
in woods where she has also lost her way.

She finds herself a server for the three
artsy women sitting before a froth
of tatted lace. There’s Picasso’s wench in stripes,
a cubist teapot sprouting from her hand.

Nipples on her dirigible breasts aim up,
threatening to dispense cream—her two
companions hold their teacups out of range:
Mona Lisa and Modigliani’s miss,
her neck as long as Marilyn’s phallic fruit.

Three working women sitting down to tea,
taking a break from stints as beauty’s objects—
all but mad Marilyn, now reduced to serving
other knock-off knock-outs made by men.

Perhaps she feels she’s found her personal hell
and laments, Celebrity, celebrity—
wherefore art thou? while pouring into cups
bereft of saucers. Tea cakes scuttle off
their plates like roaches frantic for the dark.

To her dismay, her tray’s one banana short
should the invitation come to take a seat
with these immortals. Yes, a banana missing,
and on the verge of consumption, every one.

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