Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remembrances: La Rochelle

I intuit that there are readers out there who have been muttering to themselves, “When is Rodak going to lay off with the doodles and give us another poem?”

(Huh? What’s that, you say? You’d rather chew sand? Well, FU2.)

The window through which the picture below was shot provided this poem with one of its central images. The words are addressed to another beautiful Jewish woman (not “Leah”), who was a pivotal figure in my life.

Before the Fall

Sweetly androgynous birds of dawn
on dawn’s light float,
on tiled roofs, sea sky.
Our eyes and lips
for making words alone,
our meaningless song, before the fall.
Our soles flinch yet
from the crushed shells’ bite.
The taste of wine renews
the garlic sauce, orange light,
blue beach umbrellas, moules,
the musky night.
Sand from our shoes
sifts onto the floor. Time

lounged in breathless windows,
where mosquitoes sang love songs.
My joy, my frenzy, passed for disease
or drunken charm.
Don’t let this image come to harm,
nor question now
what it is was that, then, you knew for sure.
It is far too late to live again,
and Friday’s smile for Wednesday’s love
makes a month of Sundays real.

Memories, scars, so pretty
once the wounds have healed.
It is we, yes, perfect,
completely formed and poised before the fall.