I’m handed a disheveled bouquet
as gypsy as its collector,
stalks nearly bare and browned by a sun
preferring everything adopt that sand-fleshed
Turkish tan, everything be of sand.
One bouquet takes the place of success, happiness.
The one given me replaces love.
The courtyard faucets splash in bird-play.
Going and coming back they draw their curves,
glowing red in the cold
and now quietly mumbling white.
I carry the flowers out to the canal.
Everywhere something in a foreign tongue
is sold, recycled, sold,
purchased with differing currency
then left on café tables and balustrades.
Perhaps it is such half-objects
fully illuminated by summer
that hold together like a mouth
the hard sea, harder earth,
and what falls from our hands
along the way.
-previously published by and nominated for 2009 Pushcart Prize by The Shine Journal.