by Hunter Boone
HOTEL DEL CORONADO
Let me tell you about the very rich.
They are different from you and me.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
They make love here
ensconced in a garden setting
of palm trees, hibiscus, palmetto.
They do not need anyone
(have they ever?)
two poor kids
from Lincoln Park
in a twelve-by-twenty-foot trailer
on the back lot
behind a Safeway
annexed to Banner’s Department Store.
His was an investment managed wisely –
Hers was an improvement over nothing.
They raised four children
The children did not ruin them.
Now they are old; quite rich for a long time
clean smelling bourgeoisie
who vote and rent the promenade in order
to be left undisturbed.
Everyone knows you pay a price
a Beluga Caviar
red bottle of Rothschild today
(but not always)
a room of one’s own
with a view.
Beneath the red cupola
their gaze follows the veranda
across pale pink marble turrets
into the beautiful, wild and
indefatigable sea where someday
one of their children
will cast their remains
into the distance…
Here at the Del –
orange tropical flora
grow relentlessly three times the normal size,
shrimp are as big as your fist,
the weather is perfect a high percentage of the time while
life forms its most perfect and sacred
moment: possibly they are surreal…
KNIGHT OF THE GREEN GABLES
Every man of spirit wants to ride a white horse.
Strunk and White
Each day and night he stood guard
at the palace door, the Knight of Green Gables
sitting upon his white horse
gallant Knight beneath shining armor.
I watched them both
from Black Canyon Highway
each time we drove my father
to Sky Harbor International Airport,
circa 1957 – 1959.
Green Gables might have been a castle in England
for all I knew, torches in front burning
moat around the front, drawbridge with chains
opening up and down.
Once, my father came back
we stopped at Green Gables for dinner.
Mom and Sophie. Me and Dad.
A nice little foursome.
I had steak and potatoes
for the very first time – I
was almost five and grown-up.
On our way out
I begged to see the Knight
to walk in front with him,
touch his steed – feel the smooth sleek coat
but they said No.
Instead my father bought me
a tiny plastic replica
of the Knight
seated on his white horse.
Two years later
we moved to Motown in Michigan
where Sophie mom and me
learned the drive from West Bloomfield
to Detroit Metro along 696, Orchard Lake and the surrounds.
We watched for Knights and horses
from the 696 over pass
but as far as we could see
there was no one,
so I fell asleep
in the back seat
of the dark green Ford Galaxy
my head in Sophie’s lap
waiting and dreaming.
I might have waited and dreamed forever
until my mother woke me
wrapped me in her soft blue coat,
carried me in her arms up to bed.
you rose to accommodate
the asymmetrical, touching both tangible
and ethereal lovers with
body of white wings
for you are hearts flamed;
equality of the lilies in an open meadow
daring to open
until your kisses flipped us out,
imploding stamens –
green lives going up in gas –
our perfect lives now splintered
even as we knew at the splintering
“life is passing through here – this certain
dissolving all in our presence
your failed goodnesses included,
that hopeful mirage – indifference –
even so we waited and hoped for the same –
died the same –
Years later we sank
beneath dry red clay
indistinguishable and by now exposed
white infinite bone stretched out
still dreaming of you and for your return
return of light from your
blue tourmaline eyes
for the beating of soft wings
hovering over us
even as most of us knew by then
there would be no escape
from the inhospitable finalities
yet we listened,
for the remembered blessings
the final torch songs of our hearts
amidst the inconsolable adieus –
as we watched your slow leaving
lonely eyes upon you –
skulls dropping and bobbing
like two cracked castanets
pop! pop! pop!
A long ways down,
clean as a whistle
THE RENAISSANCE OF GAY WOMEN UNDER CONSTANTINE
In another land Evita
might have opened the gates
or in Greece
Constantinople invited the solitary women,
wormless delicate proud angels
yet here in Rome
benevolence triumphed for a time –
Constantine, woman emperor, rose up
to beautify the grotesque,
divine a thousand futures
over the pink-tongued sweetness of angels,
celebratory offering, each woman giving herself to another
folding bodies in succession,
one crimson line of embers on fire to behold
until Constantine herself
slick bellies on fire
smooth thighs trembling
more than once,
each time wriggling milky butter and ice
to pleasure her
much given over to ecstasy
thereafter speaking fondly of it
naming the festival
Feast of Angels
for its licentious remembrance
of which there had been nothing of the kind
since the dawn of Sappho
Orchids bloomed lavender in her chambers throughout the palace
young maidens flowed
in and out
for some time
unbridled leaves dropped
onto fields of yellow and ochre
while abandoned sentries
deep into their own hearts.
JASMINE AND GOLIATH
I have a friend, Jasmine,
who likes men for who they are.
Her favorite is Goliath,
sort of a monster dude
long, hard and lewd
with whom she screws
and she is exactly
the kind of woman
my mother warned me about –
the kind I would
get down on my knees
and pray for.