Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Long Gone

I was your once-upon-a-time-man,
you were my only woman
once I was sane after the long illness,
the rusty keys of coitus interruptus
my red-haired first wife, Rebecca,
let me practice on her fine-tuned body.
She was long gone. I died. I never knew
how to die but alive, like the flower
you came along to choose for me.
That’s the way to resurrect the living
dead, if it will last. You flee from me . . .
With abandon I seek you everywhere.

Agamemnon brings Cassandra home with him.
A net thrown over them, speared by trident:
Clytemnestra’s revenge for sacrifice
to the gods of their daughter Iphigenia
so the winds would hurry him to Troy.
Electra talks her brother Orestes
into slaying their mother and her paramour.
Flushed with rage, blood-red river, the tide’s roar,
Electra’s heart running fast out, Furies
chasing them to the bright-feathered judges
holding court, they are hounded far from home
and sea . . . Electra, and Orestes mad as she.

We had danced in the Canterbury. No music
Chaucer knew. Driving through dark a tire blew.
You kept me such incomparable company.
All our happiness poured out with my rage
through the empty streets after closing time.
Not even the nun telling me I was possessed
could stop me from starting over again,
I lost you. I had not learned the word forever.

Those who read deep into night, Englishing
Greek, leave the future in hands now folded
that opened and gardened the heart to grow
seed broadcast down furrows of open palms.

(11, 18 April 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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