Took him a few hundred years to get over Rebecca,
when after the burial–her Polish mother’s wish--
each day was a year, each night another.
Bobby’s voice was back but where was his heart?
She possessed an electric touch, the way she fucked
with such passion the birds cried, the sun moved,
or so it seemed . . . and her voice was silent, English
brogue gone with her dancing eyes, her love of danger.
After a century, then, he was back in the bungalow.
Paul insisted, Anna agreed, he would try it a while.
It didn’t work. Nothing worked now but the voice.
Christina rented a house, shared with Bobby the space
required for gathering his body in fetal position.
Once he returned as outpatient to see Bonnington,
and encountered Melindra. She kissed him, took him to lunch
down the street, told him how med school was going better
than expected, and I’m in love again . . .
He cared about nothing but his voice. He would sing or die.
Christina became for him what Laurie was for Tony,
mother protectress. She donned hip-high hose
and flounced with drinks from the bar to tables,
men leering, women trying to convince them they were hip.
They even came onto her, that was hip in those days,
before the powers of America were marshaled against the gay.
Tony loved Lenny Bruce, wanted to go to San Francisco
to catch his act at the Hungry I. Laurie said Let’s go,
adding, Who do you know can sit in on piano?
Maybe Dave would come back, Laurie could stay there with the girls?
Tony nixed the deal, Bobby concurred, Sanchez breathed easy,
Doug didn’t let it faze him, he had Myra, she had him,
let Lenny Bruce come to them . . . Clark clammed up
for the duration of the contretemps.
He wanted to go back to Mexico City.
Bobby wouldn’t mind seeing Manuela Roma.
They wrote letters. She commiserated concerning Rebecca.
Reynolds in Austin was going, Isabel was waiting.
And so Sanchez & Company returned to San Angel.
There Bobby found a voice he never had, this one had him.
(1, 9 May 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander