Marge can’t speak Spanish any more than I.
You’d think she knew about high heels
and spider veins. Huerfano puts her out
where she asks to go.
She wants to make money
with her money-maker. I say
I know all your reasons, Ms. Christensen, my dear,
let’s go . . .
She reminds me she does me
Nothing’s free. Jim wants Marge to be a mother.
whatever the hell I want to do, she says.
I say, You ever want a baby, have it while you can.
You may soon use your quota, be too old.
She scoffs, I smile, she’s sitting in Manning’s
having breakfast with me, I’m paying,
she’s loaded with dinero,
her bra cups stuffed full to brimming
like Angel’s, Beasley’s friend I met long ago
on First or was it Second? Avenue
the night Jim took me there to show me
the city, and I saw it all before I said:
Man, I was born here . . . well,
not here exactly, but up a dozen streets . . .
And Marge says she’s doing well
though she misses Huerfano when she works the street,
and I say, I never see Jim
now I live with Christina. Who? Marge asks.
I tell her about Christina
in her hip-high hose. Marge swears she has no time
for hose, she prefers the altogether.
I don’t pursue that conversation. I talk of Christina
and her desire to be a mother
before it’s too late.
Marge frowns. Why not? I ask.
Jim would let you leave the kid with him . . .
Marge, before leaving, shows me her veins,
her black toenail polish,
her high heels
about to break down.
I pay the bill. She goes her way, I go mine.
I’m singing tonight.
I sing every night.
If I go further, I’ll break into sobs.
I’m gonna go back
to Body and Soul . . . fuck Time after Time.
(19 June 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander