Jerusalem or Alexandria
I remember the green of the money
That was stuffed in the transparent vases
Instead of flowers in the living room
Of the aging Danish countess.
She said to me, “Do you want
To enter Jerusalem. I will hire
Peasants to strow palmetto fronds
In your path.” The young red head
That came with me, rubbed my hair.
The red head named Thais said, “He only wants
To enter my bedroom. It is in
Alexandria or one of those cities.
I don’t know where and I don’t care.
Countess, you are old and I am young.”
I trembled and said, “I’m married
And stuck in the dull city of Tampa.”
The countess and Thais laughed,
Danced together, an old waltz from Vienna.
So I went outside to walk by a river.
An otter was playfully swimming in an outlet.
I knew I would never enter Jerusalem
Copyright © 2003 Duane Locke