Mouth-slit drawn, eyes tight;
ancestral in his tough, scaly
ways he persists, cleans and
cleans , readies all for paradise.
Stem of basil in his teeth
flowering radar-tuft through
smoke plumes, beads click
as he shifts
slabs of air over café tables,
fields of pure. Bending, circling
round glasses, marble-tops,
straws fall to his arm.
As cards breathe, lift and settle
this queer geometry of gills
restored, he scrubs
at signs that nag him.
Pore mosaic of still he listens:
twang of bowstring pings
the hollows of his hands,
takes him, cycladian hillside
quilled with arrows loosed through
dark. Hovering over stone gods,
skeps of dream, what speaks he drops
to blue palms that have shadowed him.
From Edges (Athens: Lycabettus Press, 1974)
© Michael Harlow