I’ve already gone back there so many times I may never be sure I will ever be rid of it. (And why would I want that?) It sets off the highway through the Blue Ridge from the North Carolina border to Roanoke and on to the Shenandoah. Woolwine. All I remember now is the way the church looked in the falling snow. The rest is like a blackout of history–too much imbibing on the succulent tit of the package store across the street, only to wake as alone as before you started out, unable to recall the slide of flesh into flesh when the body was glazed with the other’s hands and fingers and kisses and the moment toward redemption, you knew, had begun, and who knew why the only woman you loved so long was never your own?
You were in Seattle, then you were in San Francisco, then Los Angeles, and after that, Manhattan, on the edge of Harlem, Boston, and back to the little towns–Amherst, shielded by Northampton, Holyoke, hell there was others I can’t recall, he confessed without speaking–and then Albuquerque, the Rio Grande, where time seemed to stop and whatever was happiness set in until the day she wandered off to have dinner and dance with the football coach and start something she told him was serious and so it was, but he had too much history with her already and five years later she came back to his bed and stayed, though they did not stay there or anywhere else for long until leaving the Great River to find the Father of Rivers, where, he knew now, he would die someday not long from now. But she would keep going, a true survivor, the kind he worshiped hoping some of such knowledge might rub off on him before time grew too late to profit so.
But I started out where I did not go until I was too old to live there. The Blue Ridge. You see out where you can get a view of things how the mountains look blue and hazy as far as your eyes can take the brain, which does need to remember and for that there are tourist pictures, which are totally cliche but give you an idea of what you saw once and therefore could never think of without missing.
Today might as well be Good Friday. I feel a hunger to go among whores and derelicts looking for the cross inside me I can dream once I’ve had enough and the rock that serves as door rolls away and no one, nothing but a shroud, is inside the cave, and I may as well give my loins a chance to fill again while my poor head wrestles to free the ache that has seized it, and so I wait . . . ah, if all the gods are aligned she comes again, delightfully, and stays.
I lie awake with her. Then I sleep and wake with her gone but my little cock is no longer thick or as long as before, but shriveled, the feel of her lips still girdling it, and I touch myself and recall her suddenness. How could I love any woman after her? The gods know I wanted to, but no, the heavens would never be so aligned there was nothing to be done but bring her body back to you to slake your hunger for her, sate your thirst for her, though a slaked thirst bore upon you until your body grew so hungry it devoured her need and somehow replaced it with your own, so much that the doors of the night closed and the windows opened and there you were back in the snow of the mountains, down by the little church, waiting for what you’d heard could happen here when those with snakes in baskets arrived and began saying the words that spelled either salvation or death.
(7 October 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander