Il tuo amore era bello

by Macdara Woods

1.
Which translated
text   You asked
First took me
heart and soul
into another world

And my answer always
that same Satyricon
I read in French
in August heat
in Paris and in love

In nineteen sixtyone
another country
and besides . . .
I was transported
transubstantiate

Cared not a naked rap
for PortRoyal’s report
that pagan love
and life can only end
in loneliness

Celibate horror
at the phallus in the garden:
I’d rather have
Ruth Brown or
Lucille Bogan any day

Who knew what they
were at and why
and what was what:
If I can’t sell it
I’ll     sit on it

Inalienable Ruth who made
them laugh
in the barrelhouse
small hours
with the doors closed

We most fiercely
want that
which we cannot have
is our insurance
in a big bad world