We were sitting in a coffee house named Dylan’s
when she walked in, her body so ample
I imagined her naked. She was from Red Bank,
New Jersey. I asked if she knew Edmund Wilson
was born there. She replied, Who? Her mother came here
for a man, Jacqui tagged along to see
We slept together from the beginning. Jacqui
asked me no questions I could not answer.
She was resolutely promiscuous,
word was. One guy said he finger-fucked her
to Sketches of Spain. Because he loved all women
he never refused any woman in
Once I was hired by the university in
Pullman, across the state of Washington
and next door to Moscow, Idaho, she moved
to Portland, Oregon, following her mother
and getting hired to be a Kelly girl.
Once a month Jacqui flew north to stay the weekend.
lay behind her, in the studio apartment
above the bar where she was plied with drink
and let herself be led upstairs by the next guy.
She said she missed the place. I said I would not miss
any place I lived where I’d been that poor.
When I married the redhead, Jacqui knew
was long ago but she needed a man.
Once she had called me Scott, herself Zelda.
Jacqui was not one to ask why, but said:
She must be quite a woman for you to marry.
By then Irene was long gone. The redhead
lay with me all night awake in a hotel in
(31 December 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander