She came back. I went away. She came to get me.
She found me in the batter’s box. She said, Come home,
I have dinner ready. I said, Wait till this game
is over. I don’t recall what comes next.
Maybe all-night cafés in town–there must be one
on Amity. Or on Main, where Emily lived.
I remember it was called The Homestead.
I see only plurality. Times I was where
she bought me breakfast so I’d stop drinking,
come home and go to sleep. Sucking my cock
to drain the poison. Like alcoholics
turning pockets inside out to get blown
in the alley. Au contraire, she never swallowed.
I was too drunk to hit the ball. How I struck out.
When I went to sleep, she said she went off
to get laid, but the man was busy tending bar.
She drove back home to build a fire so she could sleep.
Awake, she lay on the front-room couch smoking dope
with me in the chair beside her, in front of snow
falling against the window, dissolving,
her negligee inching above her thighs.
After that I drove her to the country
dressed for New England winter. I don’t know
what we were looking for. The firewood kept burning,
the wood she’d used. I must have known I dreamed
we needed more, and what do I say now
we’ve moved so far west, but the Pacific
remains half a continent away. Keep going.
(11 January 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander