Quaint

Faint scent like jasmine
coming over the walk.
But I haven’t heard
the sound of church bells,
the din of trains.

*

By the steps at the entrance
to every building: boot
scrapers in the shape
of scrolls. In the hallway,
portraits of men in waistcoats.

*

The woman in the art
gallery pointed to a row
of landscapes on the wall.
I like to flatten them, she said;
to make the old look new.

*

The press of lines
on brick after brick.
Red clay from another town.
Imagine them first as loose
wet clumps between hands.

*

In the mirrored surface
of storefront windows,
my doubled image: almost
another face the same
shade as my brown.

*

A woman tells me
of a temple fifteen
minutes away. It’s as if
she’d said forest or cave,
oasis, watering hole

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