My own father, Floyce Alexander said
to Juan, when he was still smoking
but had stopped drinking . . .
He is buried in Sunnyside
next to someone named DUNCAN,
and Juan said, The poet? And Floyce replied,
There are no poets in that town;
besides, his grave is on the edge of town.
In this town Irene and I went to mass
and we made love afterward on the hill.
Juan knew she was the same Irene he met
in Mexico City that time she came
with Jess Maltos, when Floyce Alexander
was down at Mina y Buenavista
living, he would say, if you can call it
living. His father named Manuel, like both
of Juan’s, the one buried in The Punch Bowl
and the one alive living here, and he
said living, not a bone in his body
that did not thank God, Whose flesh on his tongue
led home. Jess took her there to be with Floyce,
who was quartered in Londres then, working
in a room as large as a large closet,
the kind you walk in to find what you need,
what you want having been ruled out by love’s
caprice. Jess found him there. So did Irene,
who stayed and moved with him across the street
to Ibero, where green and orange hair’d
whores waited in an alcove by the desk.
They knew what to do to keep on living.
(18 July 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander