When snow falls and the cold begins
that will go from September to April
with hazardous gait, the ground shifts
with ease scrambling for traction under foot.
We do not sleep in the same bed, or love
what is not God (though I thirst and hunger
for the flesh of a sweet woman's body,
preferring hers, as always, and why not?)
The legs have gone, the knees are next,
I could be a sumo wrestler
in his youth not yet a mountain of flesh,
my heart devoted to beating its drum.
I love my wife and she loves me.
I am under the knife one summer, she
the next, my knee, her toe. We were once wild,
she the city girl, I the country boy.
She traveled west, we met. I wound up east.
She went south. I stayed. If I were to go
that was the time, or so I thought.
I could not foresee following, but did
finally. She loved temperate climates.
I could never travel south far enough
to not want her that side of the border.
One winter, her mother sat her baby
outside, naked. The neighbors called the cops.
She knows why now. Her mother’s mother was
Danish. No wonder she hates the August
heat here, in her New Scandinavia . . .
Her mother wanted her steel to the touch.
Her mother wanted her to have a man
with money, her father hoped for moxie,
a man who might make life a work of art.
I served an apprenticeship. We set out
to make this wilderness our work of art.
What form does it take? When will I see it?
I love the smell of summer in the air.
Soon the doctor’s mask will send me a sleep
to forget the pain, though I can take it
and have: how else keep two teeth in the mouth
as anchor for the thirty false to chew . . .
She's become my legs, yet her bright mind quails
to be used. Near seventy she returns
to be with children she was once one of,
adolescent with wild hair up her ass,
she likes to laugh along with saying so,
she can’t stay away long without sorrow
on her nerves. Priests came to the house: they said,
Seduce me to know God . . . She preferred boys.
I learn to sing arias on my own
sending the lode of my voice
through open windows of our only house,
and at mass she plays piano, I sing,
parishioners hush, ladies love my voice,
the young want to grow old but keep young souls.
I see them and imagine them naked,
I am a devil in disguise.
(8 July 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander