Adore welcomes him into her bed.
She has her rapturous magic still.
She says Questionmark is good for her,
he gives her someone to sleep beside.
She don’t get loved though, he sleeps too much:
He says he’s getting old, I say he never was.
He comes here less than ever, I don’t know
if it’s me, or him. Juan says afterward,
It’s not you.
The Saloon is full when Juan arrives.
Young Jackson is all grown up overnight.
Roberto works beside him, full partner
rather than the boss and his worker.
Jackson talks to Juan about Adore.
He never knew the mama he had,
but that’s no mind, he says, I do now.
Roberto met Adore, went to her house
Voices float back and forth across Bourbon.
High-stepping, high-heeled wives from out of town
on the arms of gentlemen with money.
The street kid Jackson was and remains
somewhere under his sweat-soaked attire
finds time to look between taking orders,
mixing drinks, serving, wiping tables.
Roberto tells Juan Adore loves Jackson
like a son.
Adore says she’s been like this all her life,
finding one man who can give her good love,
holding on to get through the rapids
to calm water: the sun shines in mornings,
at night the moon through the only bedroom
window, cooling the skin that’s been meshed
like fingers clasped to keep hands together,
bodies rising and dipping in tandem,
love’s full swoon.
(29 July 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander