People around me are fading
paling. So quickly.
Yesterday your eyes were so light
I could see Naples in them.
Before I knew it I was sipping Chianti
on that small porch on the loggia
behind the hotel.
You were bent over your book
legs crossing the width of the terra-cotta tiles
siphoning the warmth of summer from them.
Your hands so strong and wide around the book.
I was thinking about later
when the air cooled
and your head in my lap,
we would be colorful again.
Take me for a ride in your big German car.
The one where the windows slide up over the world,
and we glide all over the city, not talking.
So silently and smoothly as I sit in the leather molding, me like a Hapsburg princess
bowing and waving to my sidewalks.
Take me in your big German car to Soho
where we can eat in places with names like countries that have abbreviated
themselves into booths and red leather seats and shared dishes served by waiters
with hair that is curled into spires of cities yet unknown to me.
Turn on your woman who tells you where to go, how to navigate the world,
with a voice that is low from under the dashboard,
so strict you do it even when I ask you not to.
Take me in your car on the highway above and around and we can see the city
lights and we glide along you and me with the resting arm place between us and
the purr purr of the great German machine telling me not to worry
There’s music to be heard from azure squares and the BBC world makes
everything all right,
the proper perspective as
I braid my hair,
polish my alpenrose,
lower my lederhosen, while you drive us into the night.
I’d like to write about alcohol, but instead I’ll write about trees
because the tree, when felled, tells all her truth. Buzz saw
a tree and there is her soul laid out in concentric circles:
years of aimless joy, sunlit afternoons of umbrella splendor,
minutes of wild leaf dances and seconds of shivery wetness there
before your very eyes, and you cannot resist touching the
inside of her splendor.
There, too, is the evidence of straw-sipping dry spells, desperate root tips,
and so many years of thirst gone unnoticed
and the long lonely winters which froze certain limbs,
lost forever to the forest foragers.
A tree tells the truth at the end.
LUCINDA WATSON attended the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley Writers Workshop from 1995 to 2003 and has studied with Richard Blanco, Jane Cooper, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, Grace Paley, and Kevin Pilkington. She is a member of American Pen Women. She received master’s degrees in writing from Manhattanville College and communications from the University of San Francisco. She taught communications for fifteen years at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and is a certified Healing Touch practitioner.