comes after a long day of crowds. Flags in the street,
men fasting in public. Women march behind banners, hammer
& sickle. An ash-smeared sadhu on the corner, watching.
Weathered buildings, the new ones already stained. Rubbish
piles, open drainsa beggar women, infant perched
on her lap. Carts, tents, tea stalls. A garlanded statue.
Patchwork city. Like the torn, faded posters on mud-spattered
walls. Like peeling paint.
. . .
moon the color
Eve. Our small room glows with lamp light and the smooth
multicolored cones of Christmas tree lights as Mama and
I hang glossy bulbs on the fresh Douglas fir. The midnight
blue globe I hold in my hand matches her blue velvet dress.
As we work, her face is mysterious, a forest on a moonless
night. Was there ever a child who loved a mother more?
Was there ever a night more holy? A rap on our door. When
she opens it, the man who would be my stepfather stands
on the threshold laughing with Christmas greetings, a
dark-haired angel with eyes like stars, his arms full
of treasures neither one of us could ever imagine.
faintly, faintly the music
of the spheres