Friday, April 12, 2013

Poetry Girl

She writes poems. She wears a black dress
with red scarf. Something in me swoons.
Next time we meet she gives me her poem
“Eye Strain,” apologizing. No need,
I wrote “Tryst" for her. What the hours
on a houseboat engenders in strangers.

She reads poems. Roethke glimpses a leg
telling her she has “pulchritude.”
She wonders if she should ask him
if he read her poems, but he must have.
Her blond Norwegian is a physicist;
he sits beside her like a trained watchdog.

Next time we meet we trade love vows.
We drive everywhere in Seattle,
Lake Washington, Alki Point, Third
and Yesler–where we dance all night.
She lets me read her Ezra Pound paper
“The Thirteenth Disciple.” Biblical?

I fell in love with a Catholic girl
a second time. Her father Irish Catholic.
In mass Irene Castenada whispered 
of Guadalupe, whom she wanted to see
in Mexico. I saw Our Lady too late
to know where to find Irene to tell her.

Ms. Clarke, Ms.Clarke,
how could a Southern boy have such luck?
Ms. Clarke, Ms. Clarke,
your Black Irish skin feels like silk.
Ms. Clarke, Ms. Clarke,
may I enter you and leave my mark?

“The Thirteenth Disciple”? I asked.
She said, “See the Confucian Analects
and Pound’s Canto XIII, ending: 
The blossoms of the apricot
  blow from the east to the west,
And I have tried to keep them from falling.”

(5 April 2013: II)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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