Monday, March 07, 2005

Crossing the Country of a Name

by Zinta Aistars

A country crossed, a continent subdued,
a thousand conversations begun, ended,
miles humming silken into the wheels,
rivers ribboned and spun into a loom
quilting prairie into desert into mountain
into forest into wheatfield into ocean –
where in the joy of the moment, conqueror,
life now, and this place, and this breath
of cool salted air caressing the travel worn
curve of your face and suddenly shining eyes,
all belonging to you, claimed and flagged,
you write my name in the sand.

Gulls complain overhead, then ignore
this new momentary scar
on the scenery of their hunting ground.
Veterans of the sea, they wheel overhead,
eyeing each stray rippling of an incoming wave
for signs of an unexpected feast, and peck
inside the zag of the Z in my name
as if it were a roadsign:
“Joe’s Diner: Eat Here” –
as you have, nourished on tender pink slices
of my willing heart, sautéed with the seaweed
of a luscious promise
that every mile traversed
will become a bond, yours, mine, ours,
shared experience threaded into conversations
yet to be had by two hardshelled crabs
niggling across the distant shore
into the final bleed of a sunset
both of us by then accept and understand,
even as another, and another, and another
wave nibbles away at the outside edge
of my name crumbling into yours.

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