Charles Bane Jr.

Juan and His Wife

Husband and wife were not
here legally, but Juan had
work at a market owned by
his kind and was far away
the strongest, most honest
hand. And to his wife he was
the man who would impale
her on his penis and walk with
her body wrapped round his
frame and speak to her like
a fawn. She kept a distance
from him, for respect.
Every day was a contest at
work of endurance; to catch
melon after melon from a truck
in the baking heat and when
he could take no more he
plunged his head into a barrel
of water and ice the owner kept
out of sight. Out of sight always
are the poor, except to the police
who knew Juan but looked the
other way. The police, Juan told
his wife as he wrapped her body
around his waist, are a covering
and your wavy hair knotted beads
the faithful hold when they stand
before divinity.  They lay, and
Juan said more: you travel with
me constantly when I cross the
porous border of sleep. It was
with you I walked in the
coolness of early night as
the stars were named. Your body
that I’m entering was spotted there
and moon flaked and we were
alone as now without ownership of
anything but immortal ways.

Charles Bane, Jr. is the American author of The Chapbook ( Curbside Splendor, 2011) and Love Poems ( Kelsay Books, 2014). His work was described by the Huffington Post as “not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them.” Creator of The Meaning Of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project, he is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida. Read more of his work here:

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