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  • I see you in the sunlight, softly amid
    coral reefs, watermelon, fried fish
    cool drinks, conversations about religion,
    then I slide into the water, climb

    steps made of sea shells that fan out,
    disappearing under waves, I walk by
    windows that never close, blowing
    leaves across a wooden table

    set with colorful items, wet hands
    and legs, torsos that warm up
    when gathered in embrace, eating
    rice made with coconut milk.

    We took shelter under a towel and almost
    kissed, as the boat returned us to port.
    I left that day, on a plane, alone,
    aware of something (more alone)

    that awaited me

    back home, you stayed alongside
    your charming mother, who hated boats
    but laughed anyway, almost losing her hat
    in the sea, my head falls into the sea

    dreaming of you, kindly translating,
    smiling, reminding me how bright life
    can be, exchanging words that are
    simple, straightforward and hopeful.

    I see you in the sunlight, unattended
    garden, rosemary, mint, figs, thyme
    smiling as joy is chosen, wrapped in
    our next encounter, across the sea.

    -------

    When her India makes love
    I will dance across the sea
    to the Sudan, Waltzing down the Nile
    unfolding my tight hands,

    fish will swim between my fingers
    And then her perfume and whisper
    of musk will delight me back to her
    quickly and quietly, under and over
    waters, through the lands where
    cows give their names to children.

    Across the warm sea where she
    is as soft as the space between
    rain and light.
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