By the end of the longest day of the year he could not stand it,I pictured Madonna in her English castle, surrounded by telephones and assistants and stylists and hairstylists and makeup artists and emails and photos to approve or not approve, five or six syringes full of liquid pink B12 rubber-banded together on the side table. I saw her surrounded by her estimated $400 million net worth, by her three children, each born to a different father, by her rows upon rows of Givenchy and Gautier couture. I saw her there, now at the end of her longest day of the year, and saw that she could not stand it.
he went up the iron stairs through the roof of the building
and over the soft, tarry surface
to the edge, put one leg over the complex green tin cornice
and said if they came a step closer that was it.
I don't know if it seems shallow, or naive, or melodramatic, but I feel really sad for her. I'm sure it sucks for him, too--but I don't know him very well. I've known her my whole life--or whatever her she has constructed for us to know in the last twenty-five years--but so what? What, in the end, is the difference? She was there when my my mother pulled the VCR's plug out of the wall after she heard Madonna say 'Fuck' ten times in the Blonde Ambition Tour. She was there when I realized that I was maybe moving a little too gayish in my gym class when 'Open Your Heart' came on the radio. She was there when I was walking across the Christopher Street Pier, 'Express Yourself' on my iPod--the sunset and the moon and I felt like anything was possible.
I thought of Ms. Olds' poem because it speaks to the subtext of suicide--and also of divorce--which is the fundamental question we, humanity, always carry around, and that is: "If she can't do it, how can I?"
Oh, Madonna, we love you, get up.