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Grand Master Flash and the 23rd Psalm

The Italian convent is old and elegant with its archways, spires, turrets, campanile, and rosettes. The courtyard walls are draped with vivid bougainvillea and lined with long, deep beds of lavender and rosemary. The compound is uncompromising in its dedication to beauty, harmony, and balance.

In the courtyard the nuns are slow-dancing in their long habits with luscious floral embroidery and crystal rosary beads to Earth, Wind, and Fire September.  Their facial expressions are filled with the joy and they luxuriate in EW&F songs for the entire afternoon.  At dusk they break out and punta dance to Funkadelic and Grand Master Flash. With Michael Jackson’s Pretty Young Thing they are completely immersed in an elegant ecstatic, erotic, trance dance as the moon shines on them and evening grows darker. With poise and focus, the nuns slowly twirl with outstretched arms and I notice there are coyotes peeking out from under their habits. They have been protectors and companions of the nuns, and possess the ability to create either scarcity or abundance. The nuns call the coyotes’ power a “catastrophic opportunity.”

Although tempted to lift the heavy skirts to get a better look, instead I try to coax them out with Hafiz and the 23rd Psalm. The coyotes slowly, one by one, long-stride into the courtyard, and standing on their characteristic long hind legs they twirl with the nuns. At the conclusion of their poised dance/meditation they again become tiny and slip with their primitive, wild, sexy truths under my skirt. With their heads peeking out from my hem, they simply appear as elegant, pom-pom fringe that bob as i move.

The power, intellect and instincts of the coyotes is seductive, and I sense that the nuns will soon ask if I want to join with them in dance and trance.