these eyes cannot grasp the crisp grass of August,
yellowing in the goat shorn shortness of slope.
the jostling was the least of the journey,
hewn wheels on rutted valley roads-
from the passing caravans
there is a vantage of pale and wooden slats:
(we dare not mention the shimmering
in a world where the mirage is suspect:
we are afraid to invoke the djinn)
the painted signs are cryptic
may offer no protection,
and there are mountain passes to pass.
she reaches in transit
(an offering of figs)
but the painted wheels still turn,
same as they ever did,
and her green eyes stay placid.
we arrive at a sandy barrow
in the humid wavering haze:
there is a flame-edged cloud,
mocking our rocky transit
through a halo of pulsing gnats.