Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paolo and Georgia: An Interlude

Paolo will never tire of Georgia.
Vietnam's fate took the fight out of him.
He has lost the war to her, he loves her.
He never does care if the other men
pass her by, for he has money enough
to get lost in her long silver blonde hair
and take her to dinner and buy her drinks
after hours. Being born poor, tall, and curved
like an hour glass is no help when she’s named
for the place she’s from. Even if he loves
Georgia he isn’t going to say so.
His rule was never fall in love with whores,
that was the romantic story he read
in high school, From Here to Eternity:
he would leave it there, between hard covers
with the relevant pages all dog-eared.
He was too tall and gangly, however,
to be sure he knew what he was doing.
He could love Georgia’s body and she his,
so what did it matter where it all led . . .

Peggy was okay with Nell’s middle son
keeping Georgia busy and off the floor,
Doll had given her the right to say so
over Nell’s three sons, one of whom was gone
in New England and would not be back soon;
the oldest one, Juan, was waiting for Doll’s
coffin to surface and Betsy would pine
for him by getting it on with the johns,
Peggy couldn’t afford this family’s
peregrinations. They were not tourists.
And she wasn’t running a stud service,
her clientele were high rollers only,
the best people, those with reputations
to protect, but they still had the same needs
as boys, only with a lot more money . . .

Too bad Storyville has been so long gone,
you could talk about it in the open.
Now you don’t close a house the mayor likes
to keep open. Though bluenoses may blanche,
working girls use rouge to keep men coming.

(24 February 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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