Friday, December 20, 2013

The Ladder

So she stayed home as long as she could without screaming,
Let me go! You two-faced trinity! Stop exterminating kids
and all who come to attempt to end the folly of nations,
now the edges between good and evil are as blurry as ever.
So I went to see her. She was combing out her long red hair.
Barefoot, she scoffed, You got a foot fetish, lover? I said sure,
I got a breast and a hips fetish, the sound of your voice fetish.
You are my fetish, I told her, as she hunkered in for the night.

In those days I did not want to see any woman but Esperanza.
I gave her the name because her given name translated well.
I walked out there with her, though she had to walk slower
than she would have with a younger man. You think I’m old,
I was damn near dead when I met her. She’s the only reason
the cuckoo still comes out of the clock when the hour changes.
Her white, creamy English skin shines in the full moon light.
She is my home now. She dwells where hearts are harvested.

What’s the ladder reaching to the second-storey window for?
It’s for me at the end of nights when I’ve been drinking shots
instead of merely imbibing. She said she'd never climbed up,
only down. I loved her so, I once told her I ruined my life
by drinking all the time I was waiting for my ship to dock.
She said, You’ve been reading Melville again. Yes, Redburn,
I replied, teaches you how to be a sailor nearly all the way
to shadowy Liverpool, cruelty that only the young may see.

(20 December 2013 )

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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