Passing the low bridge, one’s beads give vent
to a volley of abuse. The chestnut trees
shed their leaves one by one. Trying one
topic of conversation after another, the door
admitted visitors singly. Why not?

Was it for this we eschewed attention-getting
moments in the plaza after the sun
finished sulking? There were rabbits in the oasis
no one told us about, least of all
nougat merchants in close quarters. One
lullaby fits all. There is no clause in hearing,
only nimble perspective-gulping giants
or loneliness asserts itself, featureless
though picked out in pills of light.