Water Dome Poetry of Place

For Jazzi

snazzy peaches,
I am so far and with you

from those shards of sunlight on icy fields
on cycling mornings that must be getting colder,
from here it is hard to believe that they exist:
landscapes away, I can try to imagine
the smokiness in the air and the stars after six,
the persimmons in the market and the dry mouths they leave behind,
the seasoned almonds on the kitchen tables: orange cinnamon, coffee, honey and lemon,

or highway and
barbed wire and
flattened yellow grasses under slices of metal

but I lost your body here:
slow walk straight back deep breaths and I thought I had healed
on a misty evening, around cobblestones sinking in dirty water
we were hand-in-hand, coming from the Turkish bath
an old woman in an apron leaned against her doorway and told me I was beautiful —

what things we believe in and don’t believe in.
six thousand miles cannot be the same world,
I was so far, I did not believe the newspaper’s photograph,
but I believed after
the palm of my hand on cool tile,
a sign that read, “the most beautiful Arabic poetry,”
crying while I ate an apple,
a day somewhere between inshallah and inshallah,
smell of greasy meat at the end of my street and men still catcalling as she
put her arms around me,
the cat leaping to the edge of the clay pot to drink rainwater in the Andalusian garden,
the monkey in a red sweater at the end of a chain

every moment like the suspension
of a droplet of water
on the surface of a penny

snazzy peaches, I am re-reading Auden, the illusion of safety,
singing a lullaby in the room in Meknes,
domed ceiling, a tiled floor, a worn wooden bench
that I did not sit on because
a pretty rectangle had been carved out of the middle,
sensing the notes would burst, too full, overflowing,
finding your laughter in the faded indigo of that museum,
in all those things you made, could not have been without you

you were smiling in the aftertaste of smoke
in the glass of water I had this afternoon,
Yusef told me, a Moroccan specialty,
apparently it keeps scorpions away,
well, anyway,
lately I am believing
in all kinds of crumpled magic.

© 2011 Tania Flores

Tania Flores is the former arts editor of ChicoSol. Contact her at taniaarabelleflores@gmail.com.

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