Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where Life Was

It’s beyond his measure what must be done.
The bliss of age will come upon him soon.
He will know what Adore must know: music
around you, in you, everywhere you go . . .
She cries Ira! in the night and he hears
her feet falling on the bare clapboard floors.
She walks a while then sinks into the springs
and waits until light to get up for good . . .
He remembers what it was like to be
in Mexico, the jungle silence, rain
followed by sun always, her love touched him
there, she was one of them, she was herself.
Chicago? Not for him? How does he know,
he will never learn to live in cities
bigger than New Orleans. He is lost
in Mexico City, San Francisco,
Manhattan, Boston. Only here he lives
as though he were born in this place to be
what he is. He is working on his own
fiction. And like any lie it must tell
the truth or lose its way like any fool
who depends on memory and must fail
because all he can do is imagine . . .
Adore slows at first then eats, picks up steam
and walks with her walker out her back door
down the alley where she hears the sweet horn
and it must be Ira back, back in town
from his long trip out to find a new song
and maybe this time she will sing with him
across the length of that room where life was.

(8 February 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander


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