Rings inside rings cordon me off
as if I am yet to be born
while I sip my 100 proof pisco sour,
bite into itsbitter lime wheels,
wait for the train back to Cusco:

The sheer cliffs that encircle the town,
as if in a playful moment nature
had built its own stone-calendar;
the rapids that border the cliffs,
dark water curving huge boulders,
constantly applauding
its own voluminous music,
more hush than roar
that soon rushes inside
the womb-like walls of my head

Why not stay here forever?

The train. I rise, lug my bags,
push myself onto the train,
obeying the scrolls
that have unfolded, page after page,
every day of my life,
the train another small carriage of time
that travels in only a single line,
never curving a boulder
never returning to claim
anything left behind.

-- Aguas Calientes, Peru

Barbara Lefcowitz
The Adirondack Review
BARBARA F. LEFCOWITZ has published eight full-length collections of poetry, a novel, and inidividual poems, stories, and essays in over 450 journals, and has also won writing fellowships and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Maryland Arts Council.