Today's poem is by Sara Tracey
for Oxana and Tanya
On our tongues, this language
is like chipped teeth. The words
neither of us know. A local man
will teach me: collo
is the word for neck. The word for thumb
is a warning: police. He will be
an olive farmer or a horse trainer,
he will teach me to know an olive tree
by the silver underside of its leaves, how many
times to press an olive for oil.
He will tell me to ride faster, to kick
my horse, to trust it on the steepest hills.
They ask if we are sisters. Our faces, they say,
are the same. My Russian doll,
you and I know the miles it would take
to make us family. One of us is a gypsy.
One of us is starting from scratch. You believe
maps predict the future, you study
my palm to find the way home.
When I return, sorella, you and I
will walk empty churchyards,
the streets an echo of what came before,
stone slabs and brass doors, only
the smell of leather to remind us of the market
we push through each morning.
You will tell me how a man drove you
away from the city, how he lit
your cigarettechick of sparkwheel
and flintspring, then fireand claimed
colpo di fulmine: love at first sight, like lightning;
the body lit from within.
Copyright © 2014 Sara Tracey All rights reserved
from Some Kind of Shelter
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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