by Linda Gregg
There was a place. It was not important.
A narrow street next to the sea in the town
where I waited for the bus to take me
back up to my house on top of the mountain.
I would buy a bottle of water and sit
on a step across from the wharf,
in the shade if I was lucky. I watched
the beaten-up fishing boats tied to the pier.
The fisherman sold their catch alongside.
Or sat idle on the decks, something cooking
on small grills. Mostly I looked away,
to another mountain where I felt
the goddess used to be. Where I walked
so often in her absence. Finding
ancient shards, negotiating for my soul
with the leftover facts of the Earth.
Reconciling with what love is. Always alone.
Usually it was evening and I would be tired.
I would watch the boats, hear the Aegean,
consider the mountain that I had been intimate with.
Sometimes I would take a fragment
from my bag and spit on it. Or splash
on the last of my drinking water to see
if anything was there. Maybe a piece
of the classical black glaze
or the shadow of a flower. Maybe even
part of a maiden. In the pleasure
of the whole thing. Still a secret.
"Always Alone," from ALL OF IT SINGING by Linda Gregg. Copyright © 2011 by Linda Gregg. Used by permission of Graywolf Press.