Cicadas mate like crickets in the grasses
dry from this Italian summer.
Round the pool we also gather,
More noises, callings, rituals, displays.

A woman, blue costume lacing
front to back, oils her partner’s
body with her palm. It’s factor 20
comes between them, later
he’ll burn, hot skinned in her arms.

Two girls smoke, laugh and lie together.
Tuscan, brown as olives, tasting.
A dozen tattoos back their conversation.
A heart in red, cartoons the faith
that brings us all together in the end.

For those of us who are not young,
there is the mirror of the water, our feet
disturbing, shocked to feel its sudden
cool – an amniotic balm, a hint
of dying  on some other day. The rest

of us read books, and watch the shadows –
thrillers, or excitements felt from missing,
something. Our pages turned or turning.
Sleep also holds, behind dark lenses,
Sleep: sun-dowsed, dazed and welcome.

And evening calls. We guise our bodies –
wraps and towels. Grey and tan,
a pigeon dips, and drinks the water,
arrows to a thin and dancing tree.

And crickets like cicadas call in grasses.

Canalicchio 2018

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