Karren L. Alenier
Paul Bowles Laments the Death of His Wife Jane
Since Jane died, I am a shadow of myself.
She was my muse. Did I abuse that, did I steal
her energy to write?
Did my flights into the world leave her
unprotected? Did she need me more
than I knew?
Like Apollo struck
by Cupid’s arrow
my attraction to Jane
shocked me, shocked
my family, my friends.
Since Jane died, I cannot raise my pen to write
neither prose nor music. Jane you had so much
trouble with the white page.
Was it my fault? Was it my fault?
I hear “Lamento di Apollo” play
replay -- where is my light?
I, a pale shadow of myself. Yet
Francesco Cavalli’s aria lifts me.
The melody haunts and forces
my breath --
Janie, I loved your work
those two Serious Ladies,
your play on Broadway when few
other women playwrights ascended
the Great White Way. And you heard my soul
cry out in my fiction, my dark brooding
characters so much like myself, so much like you.
You taught me what love was -- a sea of gardenias
on our honeymoon bed. Ah! I breathe.
The darkness leaves room for the sun to rise.