Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Day Away

All I could do to keep my snake out of sight
in my pants when she comes down the stairs
to say hello, Juan, you drop by for breakfast?
She’s wearing this see-through negligee,
what am I to do but gawk like a simpleton
who the more women he has the more he wants,
and say Yes, Ma’am, I sure would delight
in your delicious cooking and brew,
and she rustles up some grub as they say west
of here, Betsy turning her beautiful butt
to blind me as the sun her body eclipsed
gleams through the open window over her head.

We eat together and go upstairs to fuck,
and fuck we do, and she says she missed me
and I tell her I’ve been busy, but not with whom,
she would never catalog her johns
and, besides, why should I care, I’m full
and spent between this lovely blonde’s legs,
so full of myself I half-expect to fall
to the floor and roll around in ecstasy
but when she’s eaten she goes under the table
and you can only guess what she does down there,
I’ve already told you more than I planned
and here I am in my mama’s house. It’s noon.

Betsy takes me for a walk, she says I work
too much and this is New Orleans,
not some open pit to harvest coal . . .
No, she doesn’t say that, I think it
and keep it to myself. It’s about my dad,
what he did before the army took him up
on his patriotic spirit, had him killed,
and freed his widow and four children
to move around from Honolulu
to Mexico, where you loved all the colors,
the lilt in the voices, the women, their
sensuality the way of hot weather.

And so I met Manuela Roma, her laugh
as generous as her quiet aplomb,
her fierce insistence that freedom live up
to its name, fading letters carved in a wall
in a language no one could read anymore,
and was there when Reynolds took the rap
and was stashed in Lecumberri where
rats outnumber prisoners and eat their food,
who wants the shit? all it does is make you wretch
and more than empty you get ready to sleep
by getting punched front and back and kicked
until you fall on your knees taking the chair

down with you tied securely back to back
and now the day comes they put you on a plane
and that’s all she can tell me in a letter
I lose in the snow walking with peyote
who is not an animal but a daemon,
not demon, you know how wildness is not cruel,
how to tell one from the other to choose
a companion or an enemy,
the way to the heart or getting lost
like Manuela Roma’s letter I never found,
like the fate of one who never loses heart,
banking her fires, faking love for a living.

(3 March 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

1 comment:

  1. Puts me in mind of Browning's dramatic monologues, Floyce. Mention of "The Black Palace" reminds me of Siqueiros, his time there; no details about rats available in writing by or about him.