“Catch Me, Alfred, I’m Falling” by Rachel Inez Lane

Rachel Inez Lane


Man, I could be a Hitchcock blonde. I’ll have shades of white gloves lined up like criminals
on my dresser, wear them when I cup a man’s face in my hands and hiss, Believe me.

Hitchcock blondes survive in the wild due to mirrors, and lips so red they stain sheets,
ties, love letters and breakup notes left on the table under the daisies next to the noose.

When I brush my hair I will be able to see my attacker out the corner of my vanity,
but since it’s a false setup, he is now my lover, we’ll have a picnic where I feed him

secret sandwiches on stiff stationery bread with Dior spread, straighten his lapel,
and sigh in his ear, Let’s go watch blah people through the binoculars.

He’ll stay up late drinking with cigarettes and undone ties, troubled by not knowing my
true story: How I grew up on a farm in Michigan where my father slaughtered pigs,

how my brother Theodore was oddly quiet and built bird houses. He won’t know the tired smile
my mother would give after she broke the necks of chickens I named. He’ll never know

how Hitchcock saw me in a Sears ad for dishwashers wearing my best oh, my! face,

my tricksy mmm face and flew in through my window, perched himself on my mantle

and taught me how to make a proper gimlet. We discussed Truffaut and the philosophy
of escaping in heels. He ordered me to write I am Grace in the air thirteen times with my foot.

Oh, I’d be a Hitchcock blonde with a pointy bra that could impale an infant’s eye.
What a life it is to be seen from onyx angles, but under velvet lights, to hide clues

like the bubble gum inside my alligator purse. I’ll peek through my glossy fingers,
watching as my man wrestles the killer to the ground, waiting for my cue

so I can start running to his musk, chin up, palms up and hair blowing
in the faint breeze of a fan a boy is hired to hold. A Hitchcock blonde who

dies elegant, because wouldn’t it be sad to grow old in an A-line dress when you
look like a B or a D or worse, an O? I’d rather be lifted onto the gurney, practically

floating. Hitchcock watching as I am covered in a satin sheet. He’s gnawing a cigar, holding
a lily, his arms around the sobbing boy with the fan, next to the brunette who scowls when

the EMT says, “My god, she’s light as a ghost.” Hitchcock replies, “Sir, she’s no ghost
but an angel, a blonde, the best victim, like virgin snow that shows the bloody footprints.”

[download audio]

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009


Rachel Inez Lane: “Last year I moved from Koreatown, Los Angeles, to the middle of nowhere in Tallahassee, Florida.”

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