The adage sentiments the crime. Hell hath no fury, right? He’d done you wrong, so you were Gilda in the role that ruined Hayworth. You were Scarlett slapping Rhett. “Let’s all be manly,” Hepburn said and she meant it. When Tracy shoved, she kicked him and they kissed. No one was confused. No one was arrested. If you loved him, if he hurt you, that relay in your brain to the amygdala made reason moot. Even in rehearsals, Davis slapped Flynn. The vixen Harlow crooned: “Do it again.” The Baron slapped Garbo. Bud slapped the splendor out of Deanie, fast. Men slapped women, women slapped back.
Kathleen Hellen is a poet and the author of The Girl Who Loved Mothra (Finishing Line Press, 2010). Awards include the 2012 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Prize in poetry, with her collection, Umberto’s Night, forthcoming. Her work has appeared recently in Barnwood International Poetry Mag, Cimarron Review, The Evansville Review, Harpur Palate, Pedestal, Poemeleon, Poetry Northwest, among others; and was featured on WYPR’s The Signal.