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September in December
(for Alexander)

 First, the arrival. Second, high white stars
and black night, the glow of distant Tulum
in the southern horizon; black the sea
black the sand and soft surf, darkened
palms swaying with the wind like a woman
in ecstasy or perhaps grief or more
likely both, one following the other
until the indistinguishable union;
your skin bare to the undulating waves
voluminous silence, all embracing
greater even than the sound of sea and wind.

Suddenly, the visitation of light,
brilliant orbs strung like trapped stars, pearls and pearls
of lustrous lanterns, illuminating
an abandoned celebration, tables
and white Fellini banquettes, a phantom
tableau of dancers, lovers departed
or never perhaps were there, the party
repeating itself, beyond all reach of time,
la Dolce Vita caught in a broken reel
erasing the revelers, their residue
displayed for every weary wanderer.

No. It must have been a shared dream, the sort
known only by bodies interwoven
by the root of many years and children
dead and living and the suffering gaze
of age and love. But it was not a dream,
you will tell me. Do you not remember
the song? The one that slipped through the silence,
not quite breaking it but adding to it –
“September.” And how could we not join hands
and dance to the wind and the earth in the sand?

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