She wants to sit with you and hear you read
the one she plucked from the big poem pile.
It is called "Poem to Save My Country."
It is 1967. In it I am in Mazatlan.
This hombre begs me to go to his house
to drink with him and if I will he says
I can take his daughter’s hymen. I say
I have to go to Mexico City.
Sitting here with Carol at the table,
drinking Paisano and eating sourdough
and listening to Tracy Nelson sing
"Down So Low" Carol says grief is her thing,
takes my hand and leads me to the bedroom.
Jewish girl with blonde hair. Did you dye it?
Too late to ask. Who cares? Not this body.
At Snake River, naked, we lie beside
the brown water flowing past the whirlpool,
fucking in the sun like the youth we are.
I scribble and read aloud as it goes,
"A Desire to Be Done with Folly." She’s
my desire, I’m her folly. I love her
small-boned body, her no-nonsense talk,
a gift willing to open, teach me fire
before she vanishes, after what love takes.
(11 August 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander