Erik Donald France
Helen of Texas

After meeting you once
Middle-aged men fly from their marriages
And old men covet you

The young try to be hip, suave and worldly
Newlywed couples discuss you
Rich men try to buy your love

Poor men gain new leases on life
Trapped women take lovers
Teetotalers begin to drink

Homebound men begin to travel
And phobic Luddites get cellphones and email
They make plans,

Book tickets
Take ships
Climb into airplanes

And launch recklessly harebrained campaigns
They make sudden gestures, mysterious and bizarre offerings
Bringing you Junior Mints and Dr. Pepper

Pot pies and books
Posies and votive candles.
They build private shrines to honor your spangled bearing.

People who’ve not met you
Envy your glittery appeal
Your way with words

Your shiny glossy lips
Your Gypsy hair
Your Cajun pallor

Your Voodoo eyes
Your creamy thighs
Your snake charmed life.

The ships have launched from Port Arthur
The tumbleweeds roll
There’s a Mexican standoff at the border

And years of upturned lives lay scattered in your wake
Cities are burning on the shoreline
And you’re just getting out of the harbor

Setting sail into the hot new dawn.

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