Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lazarus Land

Here follows a memory I wish were otherwise.
I won’t say her name here.
She’s in her halcyon days, in love, like me
Now would always have been too late
to love like we loved then.
The heart observed its own seasons, sudden
and full to the brim they were.
I was thirty, she twenty-one, one night
she stayed and never left
until I had driven her away
at the end of a year.
Until then I loved her with such passion
I had to drink to show her how inhumane
I could be. She showed me her kit,
said, Would you want me to start using?
After the lower Yakima valley–
later she looked for me in the phone book–
and Seattle–after I left the vineyard
to be uprooted–and that town named
for a railroad car, where I learned
to write . . . prose (why I write flawed verse),
where we loved . . .
In California the gypsy said, Let’s go together. . .
even so I wrote a letter to the remembered
never mailed, sitting outside a bungalow
between Mission Beach and La Jolla,
then hitched to Lagunitas and the gypsy
took me to Massachusetts, Albuquerque,
and northern Minnesota to keep me warm
into the final winter.
Not long ago I wrote: “Irene–
ambition” then the name of the remembered
and what I did to our marriage, “destruction,”
finally the gypsy “Cathleen– . . .” followed
by a word I don’t remember,
it may have been “resurrection,”
I don’t recall, not now. I’m still in the middle
of whatever it was . . . is . . .
saith Old Rememberer, me.

(31 August 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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