In the night he draped the Celtic cross on its chain around the turquoise Navajo ring.
They fell, the cross was found but not the ring. Some witch from Winslow? Could be.
It fit his middle finger only. The cross has always pulled down the Dine, from the start.
He looked around without resorting to prayer. Some things require sacrifice. Was this
evidence of too little faith? Can’t forget. Sleeping with Paula he’s dreaming of Katya.
Paula went to hear Rose sing. Takes time off from her studies. Studies Rose, her voice,
her poise, her gestures, it’s all new to her, some may say Rose’s voice is an instrument,
that’s nothing new, it’s her eyes that riveted the eyes of the audience and took them
all the way to the stage and set them down, body by body, in the heart of the blues
Rose knew from now back to way before she was conceived, let alone thought of.
Bobby, pissed off at himself, got pissed at those he worked with in the Black and Tan.
When he served a brother a drink, he looked past them at the stage where he was
when he got himself up and later felt happy and Paula was too, they knew the love.
Now he used the phrase, knew the love. He knew more now than he would ever know,
because he was love’s agent, its fleshly angel alighting in the land between her thighs.
Love had him by the balls and was twisting his cock, making him feel better than ever
now he'd met Paula coming his way and he going hers, then there was no need to say
everything, that was what made him think, after the fact, she lived the way the blues
got put down on paper, if ever. She came home that night and he told her all this.
She sat across from him, her eyes aglow, listening to him go on about Baudelaire–
maybe he thought she was Jeanne Duvall’s double, as she watched him pour his love
into her, as she drifted where she saw herself in a mirror, alive and happy, how could
she not be? this side of her own hell. He was saying the poet’s phrase les fleurs du mal,
flowers of evil, it was what the priests ranted during his annual appearance at church,
railing against what they insisted naming the glamour of evil, all those lush pleasures.
What have you been reading, Bobby? Trying to puzzle out the poems of this doomed
maudit. Hell, he thought, they were all doomed, every poet was a wildflower rooted
in wind, destroyed by cold or drying up in warmer climates, blown the way they arrived,
blown about all their lives, and only the seed cared, the soil, where there blossomed
stamen and pistil within the bloom for plunder by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
(10, 28 June 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander