Thursday, December 16, 2010

Of Leila Shulamit and Her Pagan

Her shimmer falls with rain that turns to snow.
Does she know him now? Or is he one wraith
more would turn joy to sorrow in lieu
of love? Does she ask only to be loved?

Ice lies under a blanket of powder.
Tires grip all they can. She knows to keep her
feet vigilant, heel and toe, poised
to free the car to carry her to bed.

Where is she now? Maps that fall to the floor
of his house leave her tracks on the hard wood.
He could never love her more nor she him
than in absence seeking only presence.

And how can love breathe? How can they know now
in the wilderness of cities and plains
with her lips tattooing the face he wears
to meet hers at the end of this journey . . .

--And this man having written his new love
in the characters only she can read . . .
a man whose limp is a little less now
that he feels her conjure him at her side . . .

Will love work now the night is so far gone
loneliness is painted with solitude’s
acrylic shades, and could he fill her with
such warmth he could never give another . . .

What is this silence but the bowl he fills
with a prayer that she come here to be
dazzled by the day’s joy and the night’s calm
and never be memory for his heart’s

dull ache without her. How can he say more?
He may. The sound of water in winter
roars, heaves the ice that breaks, whose voice he writes
in patois under the cacophony . . .

–Thus is written one part of her first day.
Let this be her talisman to keep her safe.

(16 December 2010)

copyright 2010 by Floyce Alexander

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