Through the glass doors,
at the back of the house,
she saw you dancing in the air
by the maples, at the
slanting gentle evening hour,
the day after you died.
You had insisted upon making love to her
when she came home with scars
where her lovely breasts had been.
It’s important to say they were lovely
because you were
and so was she and
you thought her scarred chest was too.
You always laughed at being the dark,
exotic stranger, the foreigner.
Their theories embraced the Other,
but your brown skin they secretly despised.
Speaking their tongue better,
your colleagues envied a playwriting,
motorcycling Sri Lankan
who knew the French, hifalutin books
better than they. Humbug, heartache—
they said you were remote.
You did lay on an Oxford accent
you picked up
in a half hour at Heathrow,
and despite the socialist rap,
strutted a bearing so regal,
you could be cast in a Kipling tale,
but the lines of students
were outside your door,
since uncommon mornings of mist
sticking to hills were in your eyes,
and your voice intoned prayers
for their kind of happiness,
so it might dance with yours.
In a cloud of fire, you rode up to my house
on a new roaring motorcycle.
Hadn’t seen you in months,
but you swooped up my woman
and took her careening
through Amish farmlands,
faster than she could breathe,
yellow machine outracing the hues
of yellow wildflowers,
so she came at eighty miles per.
Your last words while leaving school
for the weekend were I know
my body and the pain in my chest
is just too much life,
so I need to paint myself
across the tan, black,
and white skins of women,
finding my own line
to ride breezes of the night
in a Buddhist concentration,
while longing to dance in the air.
Glen A. Mazis teaches philosophy and humanities at Penn State Harrisburg. He has published many poems in literary journals, including Rosebud, The North American Review, Sou’wester, Spoon River Poetry Review, Willow Review, The Atlanta Review, Reed Magazine and Asheville Poetry Review (best of 1994-2004). His poetry collection, The River Bends in Time, was published by Anaphora Literary Press in March 2012 (nominated for a Pushcart Prize). His poem won the 2019 New Orchard Press National Poetry contest [The Malovrh-Fenlon Prize] and a chapbook, The Body Is a Dancing Star is in press with them. He also writes books of cultural critique and philosophy, including his newest book, Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World: Silence, Ethics, Imagination and Poetic Ontology, which appeared in October 2016 (State Univ. of New York Press).
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