Saturday, September 22, 2012

No Song

Myra began modeling for photographers and painters.
She stayed in the same apartment reading Grande Sertao:
Veredas. She wanted to recover her Portuguese.
She might try translating a Guimaraes Rosa story.
She needed to study the language with a master,
which meant more money, so she began posing nude.

Some nights Myra went up to the Jackson Street café
to catch Rose and Dave on stage. Rose was unhappy,
Myra heard the bitter tone in Rose's lower register,
her refusal to glide on up and cut the blues with sorrow.
Myra hoped Rose would reach the pitch to shatter her loneliness:
she needed to hear his sax, feel his touch, wake up to music.

Rose was living not far away from Myra now,
Dave was seeing his mama through what he called her dying.
Dave was writing music and showing it to Bobby.
Sometimes Bobby found the words slowly, but he kept on.
One night Rose asked Dave to see what he’d been doing.
He showed her his music keyed to Bobby’s lyrics:

You’re gonna miss me when the water’s to your waist,
the levee’s busted open, the city’s drowning,
look for me down under, I’ll try to be there twice,
I don’t know where or how you lost your ring,
we will never marry, the flood washed love away,
I can touch you in your sleep, when you weep, down deep

. . . and Rose complained, I can’t sing this, it’s not a song,
not yet. She fiddled with it after hours.
It never did come true for her. Bobby’s
lyrics had nothing for her to do but long
to go where she knew no one and didn’t belong.
She knew that’s where the songs were . . . but not for her.

(22 September 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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