Sunday, August 23, 2009

Around the Square

A vampire walks every night past the inns in Savannah's Lafayette Square, rumor says, down the sidewalks looking for its prey.

"Pray each night before you go to bed," the nanny tells the pajama wrapped boy," that you are forgiven of any darkness." She turns the nightlight on and looks out the window over the square. "You must be filled with light."

"Light weights can't be balanced any more than heavy ones." The student is sipping his tea when he should be doing his homework. He looks out the coffee shop on the square and feels metaphorical. His eyes play with the cracks in the pavement. College restrictions fit tighter than black plastic bracelets. "We all do our best to walk the line here."

Hear the sounds of the man with the briefcase as his Italian leather footfalls click on the sidewalk. He works at the courthouse. He thinks over the face of the little girl victim he saw today, and thinks of the eyes of the woman he is defending. On days like today he wonders if he is a vampire.

spanish moss shadows
dance across the gray pavement
worshipping the moon


What led me to agree,
to leave my bath and my commitments
and follow the servants to the castle
was not his handsomeness, the mixed magnetism of poet and warrior,
although I once told him it was.
And no matter what you have been told,
I did not bathe purposely for him to see.

The force that drove me to dry the moistness
of my body and apply
the most alluring perfumes my husband had purchased for our bed
was not an obligation to the king
although that is what I once said when I was old.
Converting selfishness into patriotism is a common, if not forgivable,
act of the aged.
When they called me to see him,
I knew what he wanted.

The lust that later birthed love,
that caused me to leave one kind of nobility
for another
and anger a jealous God,
began for me
as I gazed at the bath water
once more before leaving for David’s bed
and saw the curve of both firm breasts
under the silhouette of my hair
and felt,
for the first time in a very long time,