‘Will You Be My Friend, Kate Moss?’ by Kathryn Maris

Will You Be My Friend, Kate Moss?

My daughter’s in your daughter’s ballet class.
I sat beside you at the Christmas show?
I really loved the outfit you had on!
Three years ago I tried to emulate
your look in Grazia: you can’t believe
how hard it was to find some knee-high boots,
a tunic-dress, and earrings just like yours.
The icon of my generation, Kate,
you were The Waif—that’s what we aimed to be—
and yet it’s so unfair you got the blame
for all that teenage anorexia.
We’d never look like you no matter what:
I saw that when you walked into the class
(your daughter was ecstatic, by the way!)
your terrifying cheekbones mocking mine.
The line ‘Alas poor Yorick’ struck me then:
your head could easily be on Hamlet’s palm!
And speaking of: I heard your friend Jude Law
is in New York reprising Hamlet at
the Broadhurst Theatre on 44th.
I miss New York—I wish that we could go.
I have this friend, Nuar, I’m sure you’d love:
she’s smarter than the two of us combined,
and stunning, too, and has two little girls.
At Yaddo, where we met, she’d quote Foucault
and Nietzsche on the buffet line. She held
my hand one creepy night when we got lost
around the lake beside her studio.
I really miss Nuar, and Suki too,
whose sense of style is on a par with yours.
Let’s all go out one night! I’ll do my best
to stick with you despite the fact that I’m
a hypochondriac and petrified
of class A drugs. We have so many things
in common, like you’re pretty much my age;
we share initials; the circumference of
our thighs is basically the same. (I checked.)
I also saw you surreptitiously
admire my silver space-age dress! You did!
Now that my daughter’s been moved up a grade
will this be adios amigo, Kate?
She’s not disconsolate about the change
but then she’s at the age where all you say
is ‘will you be my friend.’ Remember that?
(from God Loves You, Seren, 2013)
Kathryn Maris is the author of The Book of Jobs (Four Way Books, 2006) and God Loves You (Seren, 2013). She lives in London and teaches at the Poetry School.