THE ARCHITECTS OF BETRAYAL
The fox recalled that it was in the gardens
of the house where he saw the kiss take place,
no hiding that embrace from the soft light
drawn from the lanterns fixed to the wall.
In the end I saw everything, he told us,
I knew she would betray me.
When he first arrived, he taught English
in the school set up by the exiled Cuban nuns,
brought with him a mistress
who shimmered with language,
sacred vowels shaped by the South.
On weekends he built their house; an anchor
to keep him stable, stop her from drifting.
Coyote stopped by now and then to lend a hand,
would watch her gazing downstream, the light pouring
in across the darkening hills, velvet greens,
birds settling in for the dusk.
Coyote knew of the lanterns but once their fingers
touched, like the caress of saltwater…
He understood hers was a spell
to be repeated slowly.
Lluvia, rosario, el mango
she whispered; they were the first
words the nuns taught me.
The patter of rain, a prayer,
the earth beneath the sweetest fruit.
No-one stood a chance, she told us later,
as the fox came across the lawn
in the early morning light.