Ides of March, Philadelphia

I saw my friend, wrapped in gold and pink,
on the Ides of March,
slumbering in a halo of silk,
her honeyed skin smooth and sea-salt pure.

As if youth, beauty, and devotion
could escape the Hindu and Jain mourners,
adorned in white, and chanting mantras.
Her husband, a doctor who wrote music,
played a shivering Pink Floyd-style lament
in eerie disassociation.

At the end of the receiving line,
petals through tears,
I wondered why her hair was light brown tinged with blond
–It was supposed to be black.

I kneeled at her mother’s feet,
a pool of silk jade,
Devi and Demeter, suddenly white-haired,
she held my hand tight
–What part of the world would receive her daughter upon return?

Once there was apple-flavored Chardonnay
at the market in Rittenhouse Square.
Today, the revelers of Saint Patrick,
juxtaposed the lanes
in a sea of inebriated green and clover,
celebrating their martyr as I swam past.