White Ashes in My Hair, Said Jean Harlow

My hair burnt into white ashes
after my dreams turned grey
I was the same girl more or less
after apathy claimed me
except I went to the matinee alone
on Saturday afternoons to watch myself on screen,
weighing everything.
This is alchemic transformation.
This is the breakdown and reformation of character.
I could blame the boys if I wanted
I could blame my desire for money
I could blame my obsession with fashion
white silk, white roses, the furniture bleached
& the subtext of conversation.
But I take full responsibility
for my own charred remains
as I rise from the smokestack
Dragon to Phoenix.