We lay at the pool,
exhausted by our morning,
our evening, our days upon days.
We are some Alpha and Omega.
I hear a raga in my head. It comes
from beside me. From her. It fills me
all in its sameness and complex diversity, constant
playfulness of the layers of tone,
the total between sounds and sounds
upon each other, always
that singularity,
that beautifully ruthless sameness.
It is the music of her.

Ash from my cigarette trembles in
the heat. It bounces and rolls in a breeze which
cannot cool. I watch a drop from her forehead roll down
between the strands of brown and pale gold,
like fronds held aloft on Palm Sunday,
over the beach of her skin.
It looks like a comet,
a sign,
over that beach, across the sky, and leaps
into its puddle below,
ever full, throbbing, growing large with meanings.

I turn my head to catch sun.
Instead I see a drop escape along my
nose. It crawls. It is so slow, waiting to leave.
It falls and breaks upon the concrete, a burst
of muddy carnation, quickly,
shrinking, evaporating like the shriveling
of a flower, traces to be gone with time.

Alan Asnen copyright 2019

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

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