Coming Down Mount Etna
Some things here are not foreign to me—
poppies sudden in the fields, wisteria
thick as old men's talk in the square.
All day their conversation. I could fall in love
with the younger mouths, with the hands
that can't stay still while the lips
are moving. When a beautiful stranger says
he's named for a Greek god, it's no surprise.
Ruins of those old believers lie everywhere.
Their temples, still standing
or resurrected after quakes and wars,
make me consider again the word holy.
But more than the columns with their chisel
and weight, it's the sun breaking through them
that moves me. Light, and the ordinary
offerings of the earth. Yesterday
the ground crumbled beneath my feet—
ash once fire inside a mountain—
but this far down the slope the olive trees
take hold and bear fruit. I know nothing
of any other world.
Poems by Melody Lacina:
for Comet Hyakutake
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets