Lois P. Jones has work published or forthcoming in Poetic Diversity and Pirene’s Fountain, as well as several anthologies including The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear Publishing), Wide Awake: Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond (The Pacific Coast Poetry Series) edited by Suzanne Lummis, 30 Days (Tupelo Press) and Good-Bye Mexico (Texas Review Press). Some publications include Narrative, American Poetry Journal, One, (Jacar Press), Tupelo Quarterly, The Warwick Review, Tiferet, Cider Press Review, Askew and other journals in the U.S. and abroad.
No one understood this blood run
to the moon, this blaze
of you, red horse in a swollen sky.
How you turned loose
like a fistful of fire ants.
How your temper could burn
a field when there was too much
to drink. There were days we’d spread
the blanket on the grasses
near the sycamores and let the desert
air run through us,
let the sage burn our nostrils
as we sipped a silky rioja.
A wine you liked to translate,
as you decoded everything beautiful.
Your lips full and slightly curled
siempre, siempre: jardin de mi agonia,
tu cuerpo fugitivo para siempre,
always, always: garden of my last breath,
your body escaped forever,
Lorca in his red shoes
lighting our tongues, lifting
our hips until the sun
turned poppy and burst.
One lifetime she drank water from his skull.
She gilded the bones with gold and struck them
in the dirt. She pounced a vowel that was her name.
But now she is no one. She has the privilege
of ambiguity. Being one white woman,
being from nowhere but earth
and a father who lost his mind
in the metal.
Being this way, she is. An American,
indistinguishable as a flesh tree
in the desert. She wishes for a name
like Kandinsky, Levertov. How about Stradivarius?
How about dinner on the 41st floor? She did arrange this.
She did write the composer a letter.
Meet me on the roof of One Wilshire.
She brought wine and a white summer
dress. She brought nothing underneath them
but the long boulevard of empty offices
lit up like an afterthought. The cot
she carried up 11 flights of stairs. She brought
the night, slippery as a man on wheels.
She wheeled the stars until they were all
in their right places. She gave him all
the words an evening has for loneliness.
(Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher)
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