Friday, September 14, 2012

The Nun, the Preacher

Bobby had no heart to go on.
He drank, smoked dope, contemplated needles.
His old habit of writing at night stopped.
He blew off all but work. And Marge blew him.

Was age catching up and swallowing all
that gave him what he required to live well,
namely, language, the currents of the mind
spilling over and into the body.

Between acts of pleasure, in the bedroom
of their ongoing tryst, she filled him in
on Beasley, what he’d confided in her,
following no tangents pondering why.

I was a good Catholic kid, he said,
from a Negro neighborhood. I mean Black,
he would add self-consciously, then go on
to plot the tale of the nun who raped him.

Sister Mercedes was white as a ghost,
he’d say, chuckling under his breath, and add,
She cried out, Fuck me, Gerry, fill me up
and free me from the ungodly white race!

Bobby didn’t laugh when Marge said she laughed.
Bobby found it more than plausible Catholic
sisters would wonder why God made men black
if not to embody the Gospels’ words.

Marge said she told Gerry she was no nun
"but God didn’t put me in my body
to masturbate, I’d rather fuck than feel
self-righteous, I was born a Catholic . . ."

Bobby was not surprised: Could anything
she or anyone down here said move him?
You only get surprised if you’re naive–
but she didn’t give him time to say so.

When their eyes blinked together in daylight
eating dinner at Manning’s on the Ave.,
Bobby started talking about murder
in Selma, the death of Viola Liuzzo.

I had a photographer friend from school
had his way paid to Selma by his church
to bring back what he saw. He met Martin
Luther King, the man who lived the gospels.

(14 September 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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