Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Body and Soul

Bobby had a dream. Cathleen with him
and a storm on Lake Union, the boat
crashing against the boardwalk,
and he was driving there to rescue–
how to be two places at once but in
a dream–and she was swimming, waves
engulfing the houseboat when he woke.
He wrote her a long letter asking if
she dreamed and if she did, what did
she dream, does she ever remember?
He didn’t say a word about his dream.
He would save dreams for after love.

He remembered when they lived together
on the boat, calling it their first house
or home. He saw it again, empty now.
Marilyn was home. Did she know? Yes,
she said. My mother bought mine for me.
No more rentals. This is a new world now,
the owners say, like those NASA guys
always checking in to see the future
downtown, drink in the Space Needle,
ride the monorail, tour Century 21
that makes Chicago’s White City look
older than the past, than San Francisco's.

That night he dreamed he was singing
Body and Soul, and what do you know?
It was a duet with the late Billie Holiday.
White boy, he said in the dream, you sing
Body and Soul like she wants it sung,
though I’d rather hear her all alone.
At the end of the song he floated away
like a kite in summer higher than clouds.
He climbed down a very long stairway
spiraling all the way to New York City
where she taught him God Bless the Child.
Dreams were where you did great things.

(10 March 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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