The sun owns the sky, blue by right, blue like
wild flowers in their dust-paved villages dotting
slopes draping a hundred hills, the valley
made of gold, painted on horizons.
Within reach—eyes tell
a different story—the hoard is there to steal.
Smiling, I know I could.
Closer are the square white shapes
cradling shadows, standing still
before the sun's glare among the
rivers and pools of little linen figures,
this or that many thousand
lives seen from above,
at a distance, becoming ants.
All the while I lie
back, away from it all, briefly comfortable
in the shade a hair apart
from scorching heat, the reality of it:
gods like me don't know
what to make of petty successes.
How many years did it take?
How many miles has it been over land,
sea and sky, on feet in burdened strides—
and what cost most, through anguish carried by
doubt, wind on a tired back.
Still, onwards to new horizons and old
haunts for me to lord over
with my impermanence. What is instinct's
choice—Benares? Lima? Singapore?—so
these cases are half-packed, always waiting,
this person half-done, never settled.