Paolo knocked on the door to wake him.
Juan was dreaming that he was not dreaming.
He was watching over her, on the floor,
sitting against one wall, crouched like a bear
guarding her cubs against what was coming.
Paolo and Georgia were together.
Adore kept rocking, kept praying. The wind
roared. It was all dark. The walls shook and seemed
to bend against his back, then went outward
as though they were gone but tight at the seams . . .
Paolo held Georgia and she let him.
Juan’s nose touched his knees, arms holding his legs.
He wanted to rock but he had no chair,
He wanted to say words but he knew none.
He thought of nothing. That was too painful.
Georgia said, Let’s look in the other room.
Adore knew the lightning came with the wind.
So did the rain. But where was the thunder?
That was another prayer she began
now that she could hear past the howl outside.
Paolo carried her out. Georgia wept.
Juan dreamed he was back on the Pacific
beaches strolling alone, people naked
under the sun, walking to the highway
where a car stopped with two women waiting
Paolo would take her back to St. Charles.
in a black Lincoln as long as this house,
waiting with the engine purring, he thought
he heard, got close enough to see them look
him over . . . accelerating, leaving
Georgia lay on the bed. The doctor came
and he kept walking to where he could start
over, driving into San Francisco,
across the Gate, to her house at Seventh
and California, parking his Morgan
and said, Just suffered a hit on the head
in the underground garage for one car
only, climbing the back stairs to see if
Cathleen was home yet, and when she was not
he put on Irma Thomas and listened . . .
keep a compress of ice cold water there.
Adore was smiling when it was over,
wind gone, a little lightning then thunder,
ah there he was! He was with his beauties
going east . . . there you would still hear the wind.
(29 January 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander