BEGINNING WITH WOMAN
Immaculate, maybe our daughters maybe won't
to the promise onto their backs;
Maybe our daughters, maybe they won't relive
other ways old as mother Eve.
i. Andresek's First Woman
Once between thighs of that earth mother
I lived happy in such moments that self
defeat, ran my tips through sunblacked flesh
and sang as I felt--the song, all songs:
in the great dark heft where sky bent
to land became the water. Passed
boy into manhood learning her depths,
ways in and out of being captive
servant to spring, slave to her summer;
Sunk my roots deep into memory:
There was a girl gold as cornsilk,
straight as harvest corn, and as firm.
oxen moving toward our hills
pull us back; thought of the yoke
leaves only the "Once Between . . ."
between her two breasts suckled this dream
I held between my lips--toward elsewhere,
toward forgetfulness, armored 'gainst love.
When my poor sad purse spent its strange coin
the sleek bold glib boy rose forgetting.
First women are a tradition
Traditions lie; we love the lie.
Never the rooty soot stalk, never the scum
of algaed pond in mid field,
Always the Russian sunflower boasts
three maybe four meters of thick stalk
and a face fully an arm's length across.
So is my first. So are all firsts.
The lies we love beneath us lie.
ii. Jesse's Only One
Daily girls walk through their eastern doors
and some boy dares another risk detention,
escape amid the giggly and girdled
girls in knee-length poodle-skirts.
Jesse met her on a dare and loved
her auburn hair, her pearly whites,
raven-eyed dampness of her smile.
A Chrysler and a Chevy park at Jake's--
boys buy brew from drunks then sip
waiting with a backseat full of boasts
and dreams of glass-pack Lakers neat
as tits on Jesse's White who does not
know he follows and tells of her milky thighs,
the gush of blood between her legs, and more.
A good girl doesn't touch that type of boy--
gypsy eyes, the roaming blood, and skintight
jeans; his slow engulfing moves--an artist
with a knife. She never screamed.
iii. Some Nights Nathan Has Nothing Happen
Nathan loves the next door neighbor virgin,
loved her since the day she stripped to skin
in the plastic backyard pool his father blew
into an almost perfect ring, has continued
loving her despite she does not recall naked
and innocent in full sight of him that once
though he'd have had her naked
so often she'd have aged loving
Nathan long into neighborhood night sits
and waits on his porch for her passing, new
beau on arm, waits to say his evening hello
smug in the fact that they have shared nu-
dity. And he alone has seen the strawberry
ugly as the sin of pride across her big tits.
There are nights Nathan undresses her
as she passes and some nights Nathan
has nothing happen.
iv. To the Unseen Child Soon Adult
I call you "Stephen Arpad", leader of aristocrats
plunging into commonfolk. I imagine you strong
in O'Keefe landscapes--Free among bleached skulls,
on heat spirals into scorched sky without horizons.
You dwell as a desert voice remembered:
a bloodied life crying before exiting
the cut of mom, you a hairheaded, point-
shouldered excitement like brothers and
sisters none of whom escaped my genetics.
Why pester sleepless nights?
Do you dream me and seek me?
I've nothing more than you--
all I have is yours: Life's
sterile beginning and end,
the edges of dangerous excitements
that spark happy and unbid to life.
You've life and the dream of a pure West.
Pass it on.
Previous publication in This Hard Wind Septermber 2000: www.webpanache.com
and in Autumn Leaves April 1999: jaguarsystems.com
copyright John Horvath Jr.
/ to Moongate