At the grave’s four ends were Jim’s four lovers.
Patsy taught him the art of making love,
Elaine got naked in her father’s pool,
Mary Lou took him for a ride bareback,
Irene introduced him to Emily,
pure beauty whose embrace meant everything
to him. She kissed him when he tried to speak
her father’s tongue: Yo, pobre hombre!
If he told her he loved her she would tease:
Ay! el saber no ocupa lugar . . .
Dale and I were his brothers, his sisters
were his lovers. His father and mother
brought him up in that small town, their flower
and leaf trembling with music and loud cries
of drunkenness rising from down below . . .
Saturday night like a scar in his heel.
He dreamed: Go, keep going, earn a good sleep!
His body’s power bent against the wind.
He knew he could see farther in the rain,
and when the moon was full he would sleep well.
(27 December 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander