They were touchstones of my good luck.
Dee was a pasty-faced zombie.
I had never seen anyone’s body
move so slow, with a mind quick to the point
if you listened closely to what he said.
He seemed to have thought through an enigma
by constructing a dialogue
silently before beginning to talk,
when you peered into his pale eyes to ask,
Where did that come from? but knew no answer
would come before he had covered the ground
with his run-on sentence that concluded
with an epiphany, then shuffled off
as though he were embarrassed, staring out
the window through which he saw likely johns
and old friends, all of them entering where
he sat alone to think, philosopher
whore, who sounded like someone out of Poe.
When I asked, he said, Poe’s my godfather.
Beasley and Angel loved Dee until love
began to fill him with newfound desire.
He started touching Gerry’s arm
with gnarled fingers whose nails were never cut.
He stroked flesh softly until his lips soothed
Beasley, who lived off men like Dee
or well-dressed high rollers looking for fun.
But Angel freaked when Dee touched her.
She had to have a hard penis,
but never gave favors. She loved Gerry
because he knocked up that St. Paul sister,
who shucked his clothes and pulled him into her
and rode him until seed found its ovum.
Angel loved that he knew things beyond her
mind’s reach. He treated her delicately.
He was like a brother she never had.
He read to her what he wrote. She asked him
questions she stored as he told the story.
Angel was small, her lips and eyes
elixir for the men who hired her,
and those she liked became her regulars,
though she talked with a smoker’s voice
and used too much rouge, powdering her face
until she looked in a mirror one day
and realized she looked like Dee.
From then on she used lipstick, eyeliner,
powdered her pussy, rouged her pert nipples,
waiting to ask her first john of the night
or day if he liked how her pussy smelled
and the rings she drew around her nipples.
She kept asking, hearing what she hoped for,
but never asked the same john twice.
Even Dee approved her transformation,
muttering, I need to use your mirror,
but she never opened the door to him.
Gerry was the only man with a key.
Each one asked me privately what I wrote.
(6 April 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander