A Note for Visitors to the Restricted District
The streets over there are narrow
because those people
love things that do them little good:
odd cloud formations,
breathless dark-eyed girls,
the rustle and stir
of stiff languages in the day's first heat.
At dusk, each person
carries that day's wound
back to a chilly, ill-lit room
and examines it
the way a child plays with a firefly.
(You know which child it has to be --
she laughs musically
when she chases the brief brightening
over grass slippery with dew,
then she plops down cross-legged,
bent over her cupped hands.
She moves a thumb and peers in,
waiting for a light,
then waiting for the light again.)
Originally published in The Adirondack Review, 2002