They climbed to the promontory
and took photographs of memorials,
brushing the dirt aside to read
the letters that told of who
had been there before. She wondered
if the black specks she sighted
above the ridge were vultures; if,
after all this time, such birds
might still take an interest
in cured and leathered bodies,
mummified and resting in their caves.
In the village, the rest house
had no heat. For bathing,
there were metal drums filled
with chilled spring water. It was
the last day of the year—
Bonfires flickered. Frost trails
formed at the ends of sentences.
They were unaware of their own
restlessness, soon to be eclipsed
by the years. Above terraces
lined by hand with stone
upon stone, the occasional burst
of a firecracker. Mostly, the wind.
Or the muffled sound of a gong.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.