QUERIDA

1.
Her husband,
a postal carrier
in a one-horse town,
pilfered the mail
he was supposed to deliver…
Convicted to a prison term
in Munti penitentiary,
he was consequently
absent from domestic
embrace,
leaving her, young & pretty then,
to fend
for herself & children.
Of course, the story
would stay old, the same:
She fell for the guy
who would drive by
her house –
& in due time
got her pregnant:
couldn’t she hack it alone?
Could there be love
between the ersatz lovers?
O the circumstances
were too tempting to let pass –
intimacy turned
into something deep
as to meet the definition
of the four-letter world
love.
But what if such union
be sundered by a husband
freed from the prisonhouse?
They however persisted
as if in a true covenant
as man & wife:
The children, after all,
had grown,
dismissing all the
sordid events
of the ancient past.

2.
The young cop
must have a lover
on the side:
it is as if any rookie
on the beat
must have a
perversion to meet,
an unwritten code
of the masculine job.
The young aspiring singer
in a mining town
had wanted his company,
secured from strangers
in the pawing club…
Now, she’s heavy with child,
croaking deep into midnight
among the drunken punks
who won’t hear her
struggle over the raucous crowd.
O there’s nothing much to do
but stick to the routine
of crying into the microphone
until sundown…

3.
She feels trapped
like a mouse.
She’s got no money
to make her move around,
being never legal
who could claim cash
from the domestic habitat.
If only she could wiggle out
of this hopeless grip…
But she can’t do it
all by her lonesome:
there’s the child
who’s used to high-end
lifestyle…
O How can she start
all over again?
She looks in the mirror
& sees gray hairs
that stick out
like some queenly crown.
If only she were,
she sighs,
young & beautiful –
but time has passed her by,
& leaving is simply out
of rhyme.

4.
He’s mine.
She says it with the finality
of one who
conquered victoriously.
Of course, he’s spoken for,
but she doesn’t give a damn
to the voice of the tribe.
Is she a barbarian?
It is an old, old jazz:
whatever Lola wants,
Lola gets…
Who would therefore dare
to stem the overwhelming flood
of her desire?
O To the victor belongs the prize.
Love itself
cannot be faulted
for being such.

5.
They are gentry bred,
given to power & luxury.
In the carousel
of love & passion,
they bump & bruise
according to sporting rules:
Yet now they wrangle,
as if everyone is fair game,
all have turned predators.
In the name of common love,
they haggle over
the repatriated body;
the legal wife
demands observance
of her conjugal right;
the other her logic
of invested intimacy
& all that mawkish crap.
But cynics aver
what’s at stake really
is the body of billions
a court must rule
for whom it must be honored.
Love is always a flimsy excuse.
6.
Yet, she says,
she has been most loyal.
It is her man,
not his bank account,
that mattered,
as if her desire
was never for sale,
even on hold
for the object of her affection,
passion that quakes
the stolid heart,
& turns the head giddy
as if once again
both were young
& easy…
She vows
to be the very first
& the last of whatever
looks impossible
on sight.
But the outsider can’t believe
his ears –
it is as if movies
never lie.
7.
She was young then.
But her life
was in shamble;
She didn’t know
where she’s heading.
In a reckless instance,
she got hitched
to some dude,
as if in settling down
she could find some direction
& be done with
playing around…
Did she calm down?
She fell silent,
as if weighing something
heavy & indescribable.
She admitted though –
when she met
this new guy at a party,
her heart skipped a beat…
Now, she’s the Other Woman
& forever child?

8.
“You don’t bring me flowers
anymore”.
Barbra Streisand
can never be truer
about him who slowly
disappears.
Time was when…
But nothing lasts forever,
wise men say.
He is out on a hunt
feigning saccharinely tough.
about having fallen out of love
& confessing
it just happened,
like an inevitable accident.
O lovers are forever truants
in a carnival crowd.
9.
She has always been
a difficult child,
elders aver,
as if to say they knew
already what was in store
for her in the future.
But who would dare
question heart’s affairs?
Desire infests everyone’s
will to live, love, expire…
So sayeth her defenders
who hardly find fault
when she shacked up
with a married man
but warned that love would be fatal…
But is she happy?
Strangely, she says she is —
being the other woman
is but a blessing, never a curse,
“To hell with those
who made her an outcast.”
This is her life,
her man, also her all…
Will she eventually eat
her words?
Let things be,
we are warned never to despair.

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