You’re smiling coquettishly, lifting your leg in the air.
The aperture closes. The shutter clicks shut. Flashbulbs pop.
Your image freezes on the lens. Captured there for eternity.
After, your smile immediately disappears and you turn away.
You only use me for the picture.
I only use you for your face.
You get in your Land Rover.
I follow with the pack,
looking for another shot.
We shout your name, pleading;
but you stick your hand out the window,
and yell, “that’s all boys.”
Where are you headed to? To some big time premiere?
An audition? Or some handsome actor’s expensive condo?
Or are you going to score coke from some sleezy dealer?
I follow in my car, traveling two car lengths back on Robertson.
You change lanes like everybody else on the road is invisible.
We cross Sunset together, climbing into pricier real estate.
You wiggle up into the hills and I follow, not too close to scare you,
but I am right behind you, always, waiting for your face to appear.
My camera is on the passenger seat, it’s loaded with film.
These are the best days of our lives, and you are in love with us;
although you treat us like stray dogs clawing at your screen door.
You need us more than we need you. Without us you’re just a prop.
I’m thinking this as our cars wind towards Mulholland.
Five other paparazzi cars trailing mine.
From a helicopter we must look like a family of ducks.
The road narrows so only one car can make it through.
The houses hang on the edge of the cliff as if they’re
poised to bungee jump down to Sunset Boulevard.
Inside those walls the rich look out upon the city.
To them, up here, it must look completely different.
We stay close on your tail so as not to lose you.
The road opens up again, there are three cars waiting,
going the other way, their drivers giving us the evil eye.
I don’t care. You want me to be ashamed, but I am not.
She pulls up in front of a house with a ten-foot cement wall.
There are bodyguards out front made of brick and mortar.
The garage door opens and swallows her Land Rover.
She is gone. None of us got the shot, and inside that house
I am sure she is laughing as she checks herself out in the mirror.
She may laugh, that is okay, but I’ll be here, always, waiting.