The lion has no need to chase the lamb,
only problem is knowing who is who.
A lion can get lost in a city,
same with the lamb who must be more careful.
Lambs have wool lions like to get lost in,
and they are small when love is to be made
by making her hungry for his penis,
lips meshed moist and warm, their bodies conjoined.
They may lie down together but they war
with their bodies in explosions of love.
She shows him the sights and he takes them in,
wants to run in the park of her childhood,
cavort with her in all the various
ways to be gleeful, to be young once more
without thinking, My body ain’t what it
was then, not even close, I’ll have to rest . . .
Tenderness . . . the glee gets lost there . . . gentle
caresses and hands everywhere they want
to be paws, little hooves, noble couplings,
embraces that make increase the sad world
forgets when it puts on its shoes, goes out
to get to where the money is flowing
should you know the man who keeps the jungle
and shepherds the flock in fear of the wolves.
In the baths the eucalyptus leaves rubbed
over the still-steaming skin makes human
what must rest, walk home, be animal there,
yet tap the mind for memory’s stories,
those that wring their hands and want to run off
and find love. She did. He taught her that love
with her body holding his was beauty
and like all the men to come could not bear
her tongue, the poetry running away
from nothing, making words themselves shimmer,
the glow more than blinding, moving too fast,
a lightning field crackling all around him,
and when he waited for the rain rain fell
between their legs, his love like gravity.
And the others? All of them wonder struck.
He did not know how to tell her he was.
His life too, what was there to be with peace
with him inside her, moving as slowly
as she had hoped he would with his deep voice
as soft as hers when her electric charge
gave way to where they were and what they knew
would please the mind and calm what frantic nerves
they loosed one upon the other with fear
of change: What happens when you tire of me?
She walked out of her house at seventeen.
Was he waiting somewhere to pick her up,
take her to her new home, his old one . . .
The intervals? Who measures time that way?
Not in a city where you can find love
without waiting as long as on the land
you can sometimes see off in the distance
where you are going to be in no time,
time is that long in the fertile country,
not like turning a corner, there he is,
he can’t help but love the way your mind moves.
If he’d been the same man, how would he know
where to go with all he could not give up
now in the offing, he would not know then
in church holding her hand and on the hill
above that town undressing each other.
Irene, then Paula, Cathleen. For her Bill,
then married the man who loved with both hands
born to calluses, couldn’t understand
her when she said, I am going to be
what I have to become, I can’t say why . . .
and then there was another, a marriage
lasting fourteen years, as long as he could
function but when he could no longer pull
from inside what was always there till now
they quarreled, he said she was the trouble
and left her. Later he said, You were not
the cause, no other woman took your place.
Betty took Cathleen’s place, Paula took hers,
but Paula had her own way of loving
him back when he stayed home and did not go
where he went too often and came home drunk.
Cathleen gave up her teaching, went with him,
she left him when he went back to being
what he thought he was when he was alone,
a law unto himself. She would get by
just fine. Until she started missing him,
said she was bored with other men, no thrill
in them, no waiting for the mystery
to show itself in all the forms she knew.
Or so it seemed. To her. She left again.
And went to other men who showed her how
to love with her body alone. Nothing
held out would be taken and therefore lost.
Willie himself had done it. He knew how
to lead her without giving her too much
to do at once. There he was, her dark side.
But her black Irish was not his own black.
The lion lies down with the lamb. You think,
How nice there are animals in the world
who can teach humanity how to live . . .
How impossible it is to return
to that body that this body comes from.
You think God must have waiting a surprise
that will be yours if you will obey Him.
You are too much animal to obey.
(16 January 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander