all these graceful places scrabble hard at

the shoreline, salt building its patient presence

as land drops off and the heat brushes its

preening feathers against the tide-whisper:

soaring spires cleaving out the sky as it

rests itself, tired from day; everything new

and brilliant and wide traffic-hungry streets

waiting for the harsh breathing exhaust, this

nexus of movement coughing forth in wild

purpose, for centuries now there has been

awakening and awakening, here close along

the sea-line

you cannot see anything from some side-street,

tucked against the millionth corner of the world;

here small old photographs cluster along

memorial mosaics, and graffiti curses the current

circumstances; everything changes in tectonic shifts,

ocean currents, the predictable path of storms-

but you have never belonged here.

you put your pen in your pocket

and you ask directions back to your hotel,

settling in the cab as it rounds a bend

and the sea comes into view.