Some places might visit you only once, but their color stains you: one night lying
in a field of stars that prickled your nape, your head pillowed by the grass—
Or the cool of a morning, long ago in Provence: you flung the windows open and there it was,
Mont saint Victoire. I cupped my hands to my ears and listened to the wind in the grass.
Only a few days, not even a week: the road to town lined with Mexican cantinas, posters
of girls peeling from alley walls. Then the fountain of dolphins, and manicured grass.
Crowds in each sidewalk cafe; doves purpling the air. Water flowing toward
the sea, under the aqueducts. Ancient trees shading long avenues of grass.
And in St. Petersburg, beneath Kazansky’s shadowed colonnades, gypsy children
rushing at tourists reminded me of Manila: heavy air, dry wind in the grass.
And in the market, in Cotabato, bright threads tightly woven into malongs
by women’s hands. The smells of ripe jackfruit and durian, denser than grass.
I’m not there now, nor in the backyard of my childhood home— green fruit suspended
like ornaments from the trellis, the hum of insects screened through the grass.
In the heat, clusters of Chinese Lanterns rattle like pods; they sing This is it,
there is no rehearsal. Gently I gather their coppery bones from the grass.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Rest Stop
- Ghazal, Between the Lines
- Ghazal, Beaded with Rain
- Night Heron, Ascending
- Derecho Ghazal
- Mid-year Ghazal
- Mortal Ghazal
- Landscape, with Chinese Lanterns
- Charmed Life
- What We’ll Remember
- Ghost of a pulse in the throat
- Throttle Ghazal
- Of Nectar
- Getting There
- Four-Way Stop
- Flood Alphabet
- The hummingbird isn’t the only bird
- A hawk circles over the ridge
- Rather than the tightening fist,
- Reversed Alphabet of Rain
- (poem temporarily hidden by author)
- Letter, to Order
- There’s a bird that comes
- September 1972
- Fire Drill