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ISSUE:  Spring 2016

One still morning in a high, hushed village
on that green island of cypress and pine,
sun-beat oak and rock, from a rooftop whose
loose tiles dislodge from my careless steps
and drop to the dirt, I shout to you. My
own voice, restless, its echo melancholy.
I peer over the edge, jump to the ground
to collect the scattered pieces, my shirt
scooped, a basket for harvesting olives
as if I’ve shaken branches to salvage
something else ripe and broken from within
me, and from this place you can no longer
bear to visit. Hot afternoons I swim
back and forth, back and forth between the capes,
sometimes racing too far, too fast beyond
them. How long can I swim, or float, before
I carve through danger. I swap method and
mystery, monotony and madness.
How many have died in this salty sea,
what does it mean to seek a lesser hell.
Later, off an empty cove, I see small
shards of those stone tiles strewn among sea
urchins, as if you’ve thrown them from the high
village and banished them here to water:
these tiny shipwrecks preserved by salt. What
can I bring you from this place, I wonder.
What can I offer you that will not hurt.


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