Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Water Clocks

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The singing of the blind school
    children and the
Mediterranean’s flat expanse are metaphors

for every kind of solitude made
    forgivable by time.
The hillside museum with rows of empty

earthen vessels is full of it. A stillness
    so replete
it resembles something like intimacy.

A fullness only partially fathomed.
    Like water clocks
and sundials that allowed time to be

translated into elements: droplets, shadows.
    And the laughter
of bathers from the spiaggetta.


The train stops just outside of Naples
    where I buy a glass
of cold juice squeezed from tangerines

and walk into Pompeii. I couldn’t have
    imagined the
magnitude of it. Brilliant pillars flush

with sky. Temples where sunlight
    streams white
and seems to radiate from inside

the stones. Certain histories require
Others, strict belief. But I think

some histories live us. In the higher cities
    of the brain,
even the speechless ones are burning.    

Reproduced by permission of Yale University Press.

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