I was on my patio for 10 minutes this morning and got a burn.(Sweet.)
The writing's starting to come.
Because of waves transmuting into molten silver.
Damp eyes flaming at the seaside window,
and the olive-skinned waiters
in their clandestine language
know you won't turn
from this arena of sorrows.
Because music is still
(For example, the "Babel" soundtrack
has at least thrice saved you.)
Little things: down-payments on another year
or few months.
Because four or five claim to need you …
the children, your folks. And in the village,
how long before the dog would stop
nosing the morning door
for his gambol through red-berried woods?
In a hotel bed, transfixed
by the artful shadows
of palm fronds on the opposing wall.
Maybe you haven't tried hard enough.
There must be something. Clues. At times a voice
insists Step, step again, and for god's sake
keep on breathing. It's easy. Woman,
you are nothing special.
Then there was the secretary from Lincolnshire
in Granada's hammam. Ever more alone
with her single leg, she hopped from
cold pool to hot to steam, happy
with a thimble of fragrant tea.
(Later she retrieved her prosthetic leg
in a canvas bag from the front desk employee, smiling.)
Because of candlelight,
and Arabic strains at the proper volume.
Because of a goddamn towel.
Sometimes you're certain the inside is out.
Anyone can see you are missing.
-Shelley A. Leedahl