i named my poetry journals after a country i have never seen. i guess because of the wanderlust, or maybe because the name represents something bigger, something beyond.
i named them all ‘my skye,’ after the isle. it’s the faerie-dream i caught, once. and i see pieces of it everywhere. every time i cram my sock-covered feet against the floor of the plane as it runs into the air, thin metal tube, i start looking.
this is what i saw.
if you’ll step inside this great glass elevator
it’ll take us up above these city lights…
napoli starhaze. this is why you look out of a balcony.
this was the sort of window that floods everything:
even the glass is mirror to its touch.
this is what you see while waiting for the trains to come. welcome to Heathrow, keep your eyes open for the light.
Rome is like a library of buildings: so many old books next to new books… Well, really, all of Italy is like that. But it breaks your heart differently than a library, because the buildings aren’t the stories… The people are.
they scurry past cathedral bones
born in the thirteenth century
it’s quite a history to behold…
no the water’s sweet
but blood is thicker
that was the first day i felt rain in italia. the rain thunders all on it’s own.
and the italian girls kept shoving me to the front to talk about the soccer cage so they could translate. over and over. you learn phrases quicker there, and how to speak a subtext language without words, because you don’t have many words.
somehow, these are my streets:
every cobblestone, every scraped knee, every road sign
i remember them as i walk down them again
(like powerlines measure the sky)
carve and meter the globe
ironing it with steel
stakes and arms
through a dingy window
that somehow goldens the color
for the understanding of a glass darkened
now the trees and brushes run by,
green, each its own color-name (for that is the palette)
and ruins –
brick somehow familiar: history clasped
like a hug tightened before the goodbye,
or the farewell without words
tears in someone’s eyes,
oranged and engineered, with a heart and brain like
my father’s, perhaps
there is no translation, no slated word for blue here, only the
shade of mountains
tumbled down to the the tawny fields flecked
with sage and old vans
if the sky in Nashville can bend you low,
then the sky here lifts you up –
the aria of a Cathedral
where you are still named,
Out of ores like stardust, forged,
cloud bands shaped like cotton webbing
a thousand tones,
faded blues and greys
like azul made into a patchwork quilt made Real
the same song
in fluid words that slip off my tongue
and out of my memory,
like a teal and white train.
[Thank you to Mark for reading over this, and to Katie Emmons for writing her post, “fragments and stars,” which put me into more of an essency mood than I’ve felt in…a long time.]