I can’t fuck you, he tells her, I need my surgeon’s permission.
But he’s a man, what does he know how a woman feels?
It’s in the codex of refurbished body parts, my love, post-Teotihuacan.
Isn’t that where you were privy for the first time to hormigas rojas?
Made me want to stay awhile . . . you know? Wondered what happened to the lakes, the causeways, the empire, how Quetzalcoatl looked stacked up next to Cortes, what Cuauhtemoc said before his breath ran out . . . Took her son home and she was peering out the upstairs window. Pregnant. Wanted her, but you know, I never needed her like she needed me, though that was later and it never lasted long enough to know exactly why . . .
They’re looking at the Sun Stone, his brother along for the ride this time. Bobby wanted to go back and see what all the fuss was about Mexico.
Bobby says, I didn’t get but two months of life, and a body doesn’t even have a mind yet . . .
You get more love that way, bro, it’s easy to love a baby when it dies, so count yourself lucky.
What about Irish Cathleen? Could I have grown up to be a man frolicking with her in bed?
Why, sure, . . . you’d be older than me now. I don’t know if you would have had anything in common; still, she loved many men and still does, she just doesn’t fuck them at the drop of a garment now . . .
Juan goes back into the bedroom, Bobby’s gone off to pay his dues so he can stay longer next time he’s here.
Irish Cathleen pulls him to her. Carefully. No use dislocating your hip, honey.
Hell, he says, nestling his body beside hers, sheets cool that may soon be warm as well as wet, adding, I’d do damn near anything for you, red toes, sus dedos rojos.
(3 October 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander