For Charleston

With thanks to Janna.

What is this fleeting light I’m finding myself flooded in.
A brief correspondence of the last language’s history.
A dabbling vacation across the continent’s conversation.

Smiles as I move about a syncopating historical city.
Full blossoms in December, to be shirtless in December,
to be exposed with walls and porches and turrets.
Birds on all horizons look ecstatically full.
Remembering them looking the same and entirely different.
They have lungs like we all have lungs in the heat.
They are phantoms, beautiful and angelic offerings.

We walk across a square with crowds and crowds.
We shiver in the dusk that greets us like a neighbor.
There’s the cafe and we enter and we stare at cats.
There’s the miscellaneous bump into a specific distance.
In this ancient time I ask what is the juvenile.
What is the adolescent, the adult, and the feeble.
Charleston, full of the arousal of preservation,
buildings pink and blue and yellow, lush tones.

I remember a man sitting on the corner staring.
He didn’t ask me a single thing when I passed him.
Twice along the depth of my night I saw his eyes.
They spoke to me like the halo’d moon speaks
with a peak, a push of mysterious, silent brevity.
I walked on and slept and woke to find the world.
It was working on building, repairing, conversing.
I thought of the powers of illusions in the workers,
of the will to new patterns and new ways of breath.
New ways of blinking in the warmth of the everyday,
while passing the ephemeral faces stern and warm.

Before leaving there were moments of the shaken.
The holes of culture in broken buildings said hello.
They said in a reversal of sound that I must see.
But there was no pressure, only the ecstatic returned.
A relief to be among the usual and the familiar;
to hear and understand and trip up by being aware.
Swarms of gentle, powerful openings of admiration
completed with squirrels bouncing across Spanish moss.