Poetry from Body Bach

Body Bach by Marjorie BeckerSide-Steps the G-minor, A-flat Wail

Me in Macon the second time.
Be straight. Yeah, me Jewish,
you Elijah for all I know.
Me born Macon.
You stranger breaking in,
me known for the shakes,
anxieties, weird courage.
You wanta be here,
this downtown apartment,
crap decorations?
Be my guest.
Gone to the next door black singing church,
the ladies in shiny polyesters,
tulles, hats, their voices capture time,
fill that wooden church
with world.
I stumble in,
barefoot, shaken,
they never miss a note
but one of them
finds me a shawl, a blanket,
a pillow, another sidesteps
the G-minor, A-flat wail,
runs to kitchen, brings me
corn bread, butter,

The Man Who Danced Me in Spain

fed me squid,
oceans of sea life hand to mouth,
placed Mediterranean flowers
near my breasts, in my hair.
He sang, showed me a stray
topaz, an amethyst, said his life
was his restaurant, said he missed
Jews, said please, but I was a virgin,
left him hot, aching, virginal.
Didn’t you marry, I asked
after the Clara party,
and he said, again, again,
but he picked me up,
he had a strength I somehow didn’t expect,
my own bothers me, I hide it.
He was never fooled, picked me up,
we danced keen as railroad pitch,
the night train, its lonely wail,
the jelly jar, its silver top,
He unscrewed the jelly jar,
licked out the preserve,
the ancestral fruits, peaches,
muscadines, licking me even closer
to the heart I once had, young,
swimming naked in green and blue
waters, pale light,