Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nights of a Dreamer


From the country to the city,

hitchhiking, cadging rides,
heels clicking along streets
looking for love,
this beauty and that, they
are too much
for him, he goes to paint
and play the tape
that records his quest,
and scribbles with his brush
On the bridge he finds her
before she leaps,


She lives with her mother

who rents to young men.
The daughter hesitates,
it is love she seeks
but goes to one who makes
her love him by loving her.
Then he must go away,
promising to return,
naming the day to expect him.
That day has come and gone.
She has despaired and still
despairs. Marthe
will continue waiting,
searching for sight of him.


The boy goes where she goes.

He tapes the music of pigeons.
He listens to her
bemoan her love
already nesting in eternity.
She talks of the absent love
until she sees herself a fool
for not loving the boy
who listens to her every word
and goes everywhere
she goes.
She knows he listens,
she must surely
love him.


All this continues.

Footfalls wane, love grows
in her. He is already
in love with her beauty.
He has his room
to himself.
The nights continue dark,
their light the city’s.
On glowing tour boats
and dark barges
the young make music.
You find yourself
looking as though
through Marthe’s eyes.


At the end of the night,

the end of the quest:
the boy’s with her,
he sees Marthe see
her love look back to say
her name and she goes
to him, then returns
to the boy, but goes back
to her love and leaves
with him, having chosen.
The boy goes to his room.
He plays the tape.
Love’s dream ends well
unless it is up to you.

(after Quatre nuits d’un reveur, 1972)

(28 November 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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