Monday, December 3, 2012

Sonny Boy and Her

“Dante in exile, walking in the streets of Verona–people whispered to each other that he goes to Hell when he chooses and brings back news from there.”
                                                                                                           –Robert Bresson

I know, he said, it sounds odd. Our life together was going fine until death found our door.
The little white cat snarled at the German Shepherd and was hurled with one paw to hell.
He said, I hope he’s in his little heaven now, my favorite, I called him Sonny Boy. He was,
as he was called then, just a cat. The same door you stood with nothing but your apron on
I’m not her, I reminded him, but he kept on like he never heard me–and as I backed out
to the one-way street and shifted into low to begin the climb, she turned, bowed to the door,
and raised her apron and since we had just made love before lunch that was all she wore,
and as I paused she lifted the apron and revealed her lovely ass and wriggled it can-can
and sang out no words but her glee entered my memory forever. There: the frontal lobes
where everyone I ever loved circulates the paths that lead to and from the angelic avenues.

Did she die? I asked. He shook his head: That was where the pain entered, the same place
Sonny Boy is. He walked away, slowly but did not pause, did not turn, said nothing more.
It is much simpler to write this now. Forty years have passed. He would never come back.
In Chihuahua once he thought he saw her, but that was too far south and another Mexico:
I promised once to take her with me there and find with her my beloved, lost acacia tree.
It was not a terrain she would know. Nor had I expected Pancho Villa entering that city.
The old men dressed with rose handkerchiefs in the breast pockets of their suit coats arose
when I took the stage and read Memory of the Future, which was not addressed to her but
my first love, who sits under the lamp writing while waiting for me to complete memory’s
circle. I missed her then. I know I’m a romantic, sentimental, but I missed her like a man.

(3 December 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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