How you could snap
under the salt of these harsh seasons,
so near that you’ve wrapped yourself tight within
your softest colours,
and wear your consternation like old world dignity.
And we see in your hurt shrinking
from these sudden thrusts of foreign air,
that you expected to bloom in
the warmer hues of that land of baths and frescoes,
and its wandering troupes
who sang the birth of language
as they passed your dipping purples and translucent greens
that not even the sun could cast shadows upon.
Do you remember your weightless dreams
planted along those chalk white roads
that meandered from monastery to monastery
in the deep wine of endless afternoon?
But now, this antipodal sky,
harassed by its own southern sea,
sows its wild blooms, burnt too close by the wind,
all about you,
the bright laughter of unfamiliar flowers.
And your fragile strength, despite yourself,
like the quiet urgency of a refugee,
feeling your way through the crowds of unwritten faces,
to take a seat in their midst, half unsure, half fleeing,
yet utterly sensitive to the tingling newness,
the touch of a world that is yet to name you.