poetry

The Other Mary

MaryMagdalene_PassionoftheChrist

Dedicated to R. Browning

***

We even watched the moon, that moon, sink

as some hearts break. And I,

who loved her more than he

in life could do, demanded

one kiss, just one,

and thought well of it for all I’d done!

With the tears I’d dried, the endless rubbing

of those trembling hands, and

whispering only a ‘there, there, my own sweet dear’

nothing more would ask

from my stenched corner,

though I was made to watch those rounded hips

sway, so lovely

in their way,

as she walked the dusty floors, toes dragging,

and would hear the cries from her soft lips escape,

yet me, unheeded.

How could I listen twice more

to that ‘sweet Lord, mine,’

(by then dead, her Lord, though risen)

without myself

rising up

and striking her not once,

that thankless whore, but thrice,

as any man would, and must?

Image

Tossing thighs

A_Ray_Of_Light_in_the_Darkroom

That night

years ago now

when first I felt his

hot hard

absence

and

opening to it

smoldered alone

on an old couch, waiting,

the wanting wound

her way through me

as if she were a

fin de siècle Salomé

looking to fetch

a cry of sexual longing from the king of Judea.

Photo

Vacilando

papaya

On the way to Cochabamba,

and just as the heat

from the white sun overhead

began to burn

through the silk scarf

you gave me to cover

my bare thighs,

we pulled off the main road

to eat the papaya

I bought for us

the day before.

“Cada pequeña semilla es un deseo,” you said

and held up, between forefinger and bruised thumb,

one glistening dark seed for me to consider.

“Do you mean that each little seed is a priori a wish granted?” I asked.

¿Qué significa a priori, cariña?” you wanted to know, and laughed.

Later, when we awoke from our naps

and a late afternoon breeze tousled

the dark curls that had fallen so sweetly

across your forehead,

I leaned over to kiss

each one

and to whisper,

“What if we just stay here?”

Photo

Passion, oh

the-sea-dragon

 Like that old photograph I found

at the bottom of her sea-green lunch pail,

where his tanned arm, white shirt sleeve rolled to

just below the elbow,

rests on the dark steering wheel of their old Impala,

with her leaning in,

left knee on the passenger seat.

 …

Or like that old movie I saw,

where the mermaid bride longs for her sailor lover,

he in his blue and white striped t-shirt, both sleeves rolled to the shoulders,

and resting one hand at the small of her slender back.

Bésame,” she begs.

 …

Or like that old TV show I watched,

where barefoot and only half smiling

he walks slowly to the water’s edge, wet trousers rolled to the shins,

and says to a woman we can’t quite see,

“¡Ven aquí!

And she almost does,

                                                                                                               oh

Photo