Paula, 7 May 1969
There is always this day in this life,
and by the grace of some god,
It’s the seventh day
and the beginning.
I love her,
she loves me,
Until the fall
we live happily.
are my own responsibility, they coil
to the town below our tall house . . .
They are called
the vendors of knowledge,
each one the father and mother
I was told would set me against
I never knew how or why or when,
There was no
No other man.
There was this book. Of Lost Time.
There will never be another
now I take words
to bed, fuck them,
sleep with them,
live like that the rest of my days . . .
(7, 14 May 2002)
1. Ash Wednesday
It’s time. She says, I hate you. The lights blink and go out.
Who will work their way through the dark?
She asks her sister, Where is there to go?
I ask my brother. He says, Send flowers.
A spray of yellow growing gold. They glow.
2. Maundy Thursday
It is night. I kneel before the altar.
I ask of the crucifix, May I speak. The lights flicker. I leave
With the nun who has forsaken her habit
One who left returns. It is all Cain hoped.
My lady like the lamb prances naked!
3. Good Friday
It is good to run my hands through your fleece.
If you hate, it is out of love.
Light flows to us from the sun.
No one was waiting for our friend, the nun, when I took her home.
If I think of her while my body is in yours,
I only pray Abel return.
4. The End of Lent
It is over. It had not yet begun. Shall we divorce or marry?
I detest this poetry
That weeps in the street. Tears don’t mix
With blood. Our friends come,
We have nothing to say. We numb ourselves,
We drive spikes through our sexes.
5. Easter Sunday
Sunday I kiss you. You curse me. I rise. It is still early,
So I sit. Snow falls with rain.
You dress and drive off. I think of Jesus
And his terminal illness.
Outside, I know, soldiers crouch.
O rock of grief, when will you roll away?
(published in kayak magazine, 1971,
in Red Deer, a book of poems, 1982)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander