and take another moment to re-read the postcards from your great,
great grandfather. Malaga, Southampton, New York, Havana.
Postmarks like royal seals. June, August. Some not postmarked at all
but tied together in a bundle of time and sent in an envelope by
unknown means. His bride left behind. I do think about you every
day. The flowing loops are partly erased where her soft finger wanted
more. This year he is in a taxi making for the wharf, to just miss the
vessel. Enough money in his pockets, we leave him booking the next
possible passage from Kingston. Last year there was the business of
puppets and wooden puzzles in Santiago that made him a fortune.
Always the suspicion of another family. These days of laying to rest
and rain, when we open the door and walk out anyway,
our high collars, our bodies shuddering. I have tried to write this
At Baelo Claudia
At Baelo Claudia archaeologists excavate
a roman fishing village. Under ancient arches
shadows of stone in the clear sunlight,
delimited by green. In the sweet dawn air
the intricate centre of a sunflower full of life.
A clump of snails in the curled tip of a cactus leaf.
The southern cliff face is cut through by visible seams
of shale, rough membranes between a yesterday,
a today. You talk of Morocco — out there — tomorrow
as we pound and grind handfuls of grey shards,
mix the powder with water until a paste forms.
Layer each other. Face up, all thought
moves away in silence to gather like the clouds
somewhere just beyond the horizon.