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  The Loose Fish Chronicles
  Excerpt From a Memoir in Stories  by Beverly A. Jackson
 
  •  The Green Dress — 1960
    Fancy Soaps — 1961
  •  Dreams and Dreads — 1961
  Sleeping With Marilyn —1961
  The Bermuda Triangle — 1963
  Old Bucks and New Wings — 1964
 
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Lapis Lazuli

I enter from broad daylight
into a grotto of gloom,
but see them at once, like a sun spot.
They huddle in the sepia fog of the saloon,
his arm draped like a cavalier’s cloak
on the backrest of her stool. Call it
infidelity or perhaps just the allusion
of possibility woven into the fabric
of preposterous coalitions over cocktails at noon. 

I approach the scarred bar, carved with names
of patrons long forgotten. My left hand,
the hand bearing a burnished silver wedding band
beaded with lapis lazuli, clacks as I slap the old wood —
slap the rough-hewn initials cut by other lovers,
etched token of twosome between them —
now we are this threesome of mindfulness
enveloped like bees in the floral grip
of her common cologne. 

My mouth tastes metallic
Her chin sets in blatant smugness.
He turns to me, eyes narrow
behind spirals of Marlboro smoke.
I grasp his long white fingers, splay them,
press his hand, palm down, next to mine,
his ring, set with one splendid lapis stone glows silver
alongside mine, our wedded symbols, our beloved troth,
our homage to an old Yeats poem, our hands laid open
beside a carving on the bar that reads:

                     Sammy loves Lulu   1952

 

 
   
   © Beverly A. Jackson, 2011
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