Whereupon Ira and Adore took up
being lovers living together long
and wide and deep as long as Ira lived
and while she lived his memory filled her
as he had. She told Juan what she knew well,
nothing but everything, the nights still dark,
the days bright without rain but even then
they were laced together in heart and skin.
This city is so beautiful, she said,
the rain falls on the just and the unjust
alike, and the ugly is what it is
in men’s souls rusting from their transgressions.
Those men who took your red-haired wife, she said
to Juan, got theirs one way or the other
from Eulalie, I bet she set them right.
Ira lived in Adore’s house. Her three rooms,
bedroom, day room, kitchen. One door in front,
one in back. You know the kind: Shotgun shack,
reader mine, who first said it so I know
to stay out of the line of fire. She was
his own. He was her own. They were their own.
He sat in the bedroom to play his horn.
Sometimes walked around the bed listening,
lip fit to the piece like a turtle’s house.
Other times he made notes on the paper
with lines, picked up from the club and brought home
to set down what he had all inside him
and didn’t know until now he knew. Now
he talked the others into playing it
with him. Adore stood in back of the room.
(2 February 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander