His life lived with Paula was full of joy.
Bobby St. Clair, who was not yet thirty,
was finally in love for the first time.
Do I repeat myself, long-suffering reader?
As long as they can keep each other home,
their turbulent passions may wander from
mother to lover, lover to father,
but they will sleep dreamily together.
In the days before there was a Mexico City,
on top of the Pyramid of the Sun
the priests carved hearts from beautiful bodies
and sent them sliding down the narrow steps
into Quetzalcoatl’s feathery, long-fanged maw.
In Teotihuacan’s time, Lake Xochimilco
floated fresh flowers on a lake of blood.
Atavistic, bestial gods fed on women.
See the jerk of the spine short-circuited,
synapse broken between the great cities
of the Americas. Dead bodies curled,
ready for the fire. Messengers touch flames
to dry sticks. Five centuries gone, nothing
the sky sends down quenches the roar and crack
of civilization’s conflagration.
Smell death itself: there is no end of cruelty.
In the house Paula revives Bobby’s deep ardor
with her touch, her smiling, low-key laughter.
Outside, people see her and stop, waiting
until she approaches only to pass.
Nights her body flows with his to Monk, Miles,
Coltrane, the Cookbook of Eddie Lockjaw Davis
on tenor sax and Shirley Scott’s organ
swelling with a mellifluous, sensual sound . . .
Days she stays home, she watches a crow pace
the alley behind the bungalow. She tiptoes
toward him. He turns his head and stares.
He’s darker than he was through the window.
She stops. He flies. She sits in the high grass.
He lights nearby. She speaks to him. He caws.
She loves with such grace, so tenderly she
needs no songs, poems, unwritten stories.
(30 May, 14 June 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander