Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
March 2024
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Thursday, 8. April 2010

A Wedding Sequence

for A

[1] Gulmohars in Gudalajara

In the square where revolutionary heroes Converse with saints about godlessness, These trees of memory emerge from The morning fog, like ships with flags At half-mast entering a safe harbor.

Everything I was then has been forgotten In streets that have since changed Their names, their faces. I haven't seen These trees in years now, like those whom I left in farewell by the Bay of Bengal.

If I grow silent when you put a blossom In your hair, in jest for a photograph, Know these flowers, shaped like torn Hearts, remind me of those I have lost To gain you in this far country.

[2] Memory’s Flyway

The vision is of water. Off heaven’s coast I am afloat in the Pacific, not sinking as I Would have once, farther beyond into the dark Which hides beyond the glitter of coral fish. Off Arcos, when I force my visor into the brine

I see the line of bubbles streaming from The glimmering body below, syllabic like a haiku. The mind empties itself in the tropical heat. Lunch, and hike to an ice-cold waterfall follow. So another good day passes with little speech.

The ferry coasts against the pier, and then sputters To life as the anchor lifts and its engines belch. The route Back, as dusk falls, is along the flyways of humpbacks – Much like how memory swims back to memory. I had to lose sight of gulmohars blooming in

Guadalajara’s squares to remember them again, As I sit up with Caravaggio's saints in vigil. As our books nuzzle against one another, tawny Evening rests its spine on the cooling sand. I am at rest, I think, at the edge of your continent.

[3] Past Presents

...itself in flashes. Tender extremities Of spring perhaps bring it life. That hill above Vernazza at dawn, that cold shell of a room With thrum of waves crashing into the Ligurian Cliffs, feet touching feet under a grandmother's quilt.

Then that afternoon rising up in the funicular To the tiny square of Capri - again a brilliance Of blue all the way to looming Vesuvius. Montale on the mind, overlaid on the crouching Cart driver statured into silence by Pompeiian lava.

I have struggled to reconcile even farther memories With these presents, hiding behind this jagged Tone of hurt. Your perplexity as simple as the starfish's Trash when I took it out of the Pacific shoals at dusk, Below the lighthouse, after our quick morning quarrel.

There is a coast I realize I have stumbled upon, Where memory wanders through the seaside vistas, Sieving the past to speckle the present. It is Your nuzzled body curved against a seeking blindness Of mine, as our lived past surges and retreats

Like a drowsy sea at sleep's coast, Radhika.

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