Gnomon

“Sometimes, happiness is all we have left.” ~ Alberto Rios

I am trying to remember:
do I still know how dark

green curves open to a frill
on the backs of winged beans,

how pale streaks bloom
on long-bellied gourds

as if a child scribbled
on a rough piece of slate

with chalk? Under the old
grandmother’s window we

lined up empty soda bottles,
pouring water from the tap,

pushing crushed petals in
to mimic rose and turmeric.

I don’t know if there is a name
for the moment when a sundial’s blade

is wedged between noon and night;
I forget. And yet, decades after,

I remember how I grew still when a hand
not mine shaded the sun from my eyes

while the other hand made the road
buckle so it ribboned away and away.

[Etymology, gnomon: From Latin gnomon, from Ancient Greek γνώμων (gnōmōn, “indicator”), related to γιγνώσκω (gignōskō, “I know”) and γνῶσις (gnōsis, “knowledge”].

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