"Happy Accidents" Is Our "Casablanca,"

Marvin Bell

what with Marisa Tomei falling for an alien
from the future. Ilsa and Rick may always
have Paris, but Ruby and Sam
have Dubuque and the preposthumous.

"Safety Not Guaranteed" might be "Casablanca."
Darius and Kenneth, escapees from time,
are off to make things right--like, you know,
Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman.

I am required to assure you this is true.
It is just me in Tangier, down the road
from Casablanca, just me leaning nightly
against a chilly brick wall with an ouzo

in Trudy's Viennese Piano Bar. Trudy
tells the barflies how she came to Tangier
from Vienna, and all night she returns
again and again to play "As Time Goes By."

If only Casablanca's rocky beach was more like
Santa Monica's, and if California was anything
like the Beach Boys, I'd not have spent New Year's
playing piano with Trudy's dog at the pedals.

Like dead film stars borne by light in the dark,
that old me sipping ouzo in Tangier still plays.
A loop of images spools out in my head,
silent, jumpy, frame by frame by frame...

"Happy Accidents" Is Our "Casablanca," "Happy Accidents" Is Our "Casablanca,"