by Nancy Devine
highlighted the crests of letters
in his new name,
each a bone casting shadow
he brushed under brows of beautiful women
where it, too, became beautiful
for Cosmopolitan covers.
With sable bristles
he dusted brown powder
along Lauren Hutton’s nose for contour,
for Vogue softened the chiaroscuro
of Barbra Streisand’s jaw line,
played in Lipstick with Margaux Hemingway,
let millions see Donna Summer
happy ever after on her
“Once Upon A Time” album sleeve.
When Way Bandy
first blushed Nancy Reagan’s cheeks,
did he know there was something
in his own make-up Her president could barely say?
Before he died in a New York hospital
August 13, 1986,
Way Bandy requested
“his death be announced as AIDS-related”
that it be reported
“He was a bachelor and asked
that survivors not be identified,”
according to The Times.
On an AIDs memorial in Key West, Florida,
where he spent time,
in the center of row 2 column 13 line 4
“Way Bandy” is chiseled in stone,
the signature of his maquillage,
how much there is to face.