I still want to hear her sing in my ear making love with me
and me with her, and who knows how many cats we shared
the house with . . . She sang Angel Eyes back where I left it
with her as curator of my heart, the only one I ever desired.
She said it was bad luck to sing in bed. I’m not superstitious,
she said, it’s just what I’ve been told, don’t see how it’s true.
She was always leading an invisible chorus of many voices,
all her own. She did Body and Soul like it should be done,
without regret or rancor, as I would try if I only knew how
to remember I was never in love like this till she came along.
She said, Sure, I’ll stay, and next day I had to be somewhere
without her, but only an hour, and missed her every second.
It’s the songs I learned very young I miss hearing her sing
the most. You know the ones, I never sing them anymore
now she’s been here and gone, I can’t bear the old weight
of St. James Infirmary or Easy Rider or Empty Bed Blues.
Not that a man has the luck to do songs only a woman can
master, especially when walking on water, as Paula does.
(21 June, 10 July 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander