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,

screeching yellow,

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

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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