This following is another Luxation Poem.
‘Cenzo and Bupe, A Love Story
How I loved to visit your house,
the small white ranch surrounded
by rose bushes
taller than I ever believed
I might grow.
I loved you, of course,
but I loved your dogs
and the way I knew
they would do anything for you.
You understood the wisdom
of the wolf,
so you named your first Doberman
Lupa, for the great pack animal.
I remember your barrel-chested pride
when Lupa finally caught
and you kept her largest pup
and named her Bupida, the thorn
in Rosa’s side.
Her ink-black hair tightly tied in a bun,
your wife would stir the pot of sauce and scowl.
“Bupida si chiame il cane.
Io, solo Rosa.”
“Sweetheart he calls the dog.
Me, only Rosa.”
I dreamed of you
years after I grew
beyond your rose bushes,
when my world first began
to cleave open.
You sat on the altar
of an empty candle-lit church,
wrapped in a hooded brown flannel cloak,
like a Capuchin monk.
At your flanks were two Dobermans,
sentinels at your side.
“Don’t worry,” you had said,
“I’m going on vacation.”
Then, my dead grandmother
and some old lady in a white Cadillac
burned rubber outside the church
and I woke up.
The next morning my mother telephoned
and told me you had died that night
while playing cards at your kitchen table.
I wondered if Bupe had been there;
I couldn’t imagine
she would have let you die.
I recalled how she had saved your life
when a man with fear in his eyes
and a gun in his hand
tried to hold up your fish store
during Holy Week.
You had told us the story
as you sipped your demitasse and anisette
after Sunday dinner,
Bupe, a statue at your side,
eyeing you like a young girl
To be looked at that way –
how must it feel?
© 2003 Maria Mandarino