In Memoriam: Jeanne Moreau
Meeting Jeanne Moreau
In this dream, I meet Jeanne Moreau
at the Louvre, and like Buddhas,
we sit at the feet of Aphrodite,
better known as Venus.
Goddesses come in many forms
with different faces, assuming names.
I would follow you until the end of the world,
leave a trail of lovers in our smoky wake.
Women like you are bonfires
for those who aspire to be consumed.
Dive in, full of fuel, feed the flames.
We all catch fire and burn
at the same degree of intensity.
Possessed witch or innocent virgin.
I offer myself, a willing victim.
Consider me the arson’s apprentice,
the one who struck the match.
Teach me assassination, the thing you do
with your eyes and mouth that make men
take up guns.
Before I wake, the world becomes
black and white, like the first time
I saw you, shimmering out of Paris night,
gliding on Miles’ jazz riff, head back,
soaking up the rain, your voice
gurgling with desire…
…je t’aime… je t’aime
Jeanne Moreau was the inspiration for the character Irène Laureux in my Venus Trilogy of novels. This poem originally appeared in the Lethe Press anthology Divining Divas: 100 Gay Men on Their Muses. I have treasured her as a muse and actor since I was a teenager. Her death has left me heartbroken, but she lived her long life like a bright flame. Icons never die. Her light will never dim. Je t'aime, Madame Moreau. – Collin Kelley