Postcard, with New Moon and Big Dipper

Of course it's fixed forever
in a time of blue hills and fog:
a screen of heat reflecting off
tin roofs, a composition rehearsed
day after day by rain. Of course
nights were always lined
with the cries of vendors
and hungry children, smells
of diesel and human waste
floating on water beneath
the bridge. The roads
slipped through rocks
and cypress groves. And we,
formerly devout in childhood,
repeated saints' names in sleep
and on waking, and signed
spit crosses on the tops
of aching feet. Only much
later and far away from that shore
did we marvel at the way the moon
could shine like the perfect
white curve of a French manicure,
at stars that tilted from the weight
of invisible waters kept pouring
everything we thought we wanted
into our upturned mouths.

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