He started looking for the words again
when all he knew were those of her name.
She was a man’s woman, some had said
but what did that mean? She loved men.
Did that mean she drank with them, loved them,
but never remained with one man alone . . .
They all called her beautiful, long hair red
and it must be, it looked dark but not full dark.
Her legs were long, he forgot who had used
the word insatiable. (Lovely found a frame
for the photograph.) She was looking straight
at the camera, smile full of mischief, eyes
dancing. There was the ocean behind her.
Her long hair streamed over her shoulders.
Her breasts and hips, her legs were shaped
with exquisite care by some accident
of birth, the beneficent nature of God,
he did not say. He kept making it up.
She was named for her mother, Irish
from her father’s seed. He looked close.
Her lips were dark and parted, her tongue
visible between her teeth. Beautiful
was worn like many words, but it was all
the creature before his eyes could be said
to be. (Lovely read slowly, said, Start over.)
(9 February 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander