All he could do was try to keep his eyes off her.
She was tall, sleek with emblems of her desire,
looking straight out like Sidney Bechet said
you should play so the sound went straight through you
and it was her body he wanted more than gold.
A dream like this . . . whose name would go with it?
He woke and saw her in the rocking chair
in front of the window, smoking, rocking.
Why ensimismada, my love?
Thinking, she said. Deep thoughts? Thinking about
why you married me:
I wake and you’re saying her name over and over. Who?
Nothing would matter. Katya had her life
long before he found Paula, though he died
a little death when he left Mexico City
and her . . . woman dancing with such . . . elan . . .
the way she turned around above one leg
watching her body laugh as she smiled down
at one foot, the ankle tattoo showing
in his only photo of her . . .
He told Paula, I love you, and meant it.
She drove away while he was getting dressed.
He kept thinking. He kept changing his mind.
He thought of Bechet again. In Paris. Why not?
(2, 17 June 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander