WHISTLED FAR OFF A LONG MYSTERIOUS TRAIN
by Emily Black
Sunlight dances on a beach in Sicily.
It casts deep shadows beneath huge boulders
as I scramble over a stone wall,
and down sea-soaked steps. I am wearing
a white cotton dress. It’s early October,
and still warm. A fishing-boat lolls offshore.
Seagulls reel in the cloud-wisped sky;
their cries sound lonely. Tall cypress trees cling
to cliffs above, and sway their branches to scatter
a resiny conifer smell, clean and crisp.
My every pore devours this rapturous perfume,
and I weave it in my hair.
I came here fearing life like it was a dread disease.
My cure, I decided, was to wash away all
that crept into my soul dragging misery with it.
A train whistles in the distance and a long stream
of white smoke billows behind it like ghosts
as it crosses a viaduct on a cliff high above.
In a few days I will be on that same train to Rome
and then home. A tattered relationship awaits my return.
Life is an arduous journey through canyons of love.
I recall his hair and the smell of him, not at all
unlike the smells of Sicily: enticing, delicious.
I bury myself in thoughts of him. How impossible
it is loving a man! Love that is joy dredged in sorrow,
when a broken heart is left to drag behind.
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