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Jodorwosky’s El Topo

by Floyce Alexander


Say your son
Left his mother’s cameo
Under five fingers of wet sand
In the Sierras,
You would kneel by his side
Like an acolyte, some John
Of the Desert,
Tempted but impervious to taunts,
Flesh that once thrust
Silken beneath your loins,

And say tres Marias
Slowly as dry sand
Drifting over the Desert
Thronging the Sierras
Where bodies slant through
The wind, where women cry
Out the red night
Suffering thrust upon thrust
From their savage husbands,
Weeping for their pale stillborn.


Of course my son will be sent away.
I will send him away.
Is style.
                 My son will wear rags
And I black leather down to poncho
And holster.
                          Horse nods under sun,
A steady gait. We are crossing Desert,
Are crossing bandit country, soldiers.

                              Where’re we going,
My son asks. We are heading home, son.
Yours, not mine.
                                   You never gasp
At blood mixing muddy water in
The watering place. Horse knickers,
Neighs. Bodies face down.
Has enough. Style. All try for more:
The General, for example. Fucking his
Franciscan novitiate, sends her dazed
From the hut, as his soldiers abuse
Her slowly.
                        Once I had him down,
My hand slid, without thought, down
To the blade. The blood between
His legs sprayed, spattering my face,
As my son sat the still horse.


Too proud to stay alive,
Sand spilling all ways,
Hoofs of the horses
Filling clefts with it,

We come to a place,
No going back from,
No going beyond.
Here is another, a woman

Like yourself, succulent
As oasis, who girds
Not my loins, but yours.
I ride on, sick of heart,

Sick of sun. Soon we
Will reach the bridge
Of rope I walk, while
You and your lover try

To push my body through
Frail strands. Your lover
Has a knife. She wishes
To wait on the other side

Until I cross. Hand poises
Blade’s scarf. Throat tingles
With air. Body doesn’t fall
Ever, until sun’s in my eyes.


Floyce Alexander has published widely. (1974)

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AGNI Magazine :: published at Boston University ©2008 AGNI