John O'Malley

In Rio de Janiero (for Maria)

After my guide said chao,
I waited to see you again.
Beyond the Atlantic's pale blue,
A jetliner through grey clouds disappeared.
My lips touched a wineglass cool.
Past seven in the evening:
The café's red-cloth tables and waiters
stood idly below
Tall Jesus and his open arms.
You appeared like a tanned naiad,
Hair golden and curled around one pink flower.
Your feet covered by silver plastic
Straps, one toe circled in bronze.
You wore a green and yellow dress,
a thin blue bracelet -
years ago,
on one summer evening.
I breathed in
your fragrance,
a jasmine jardim.
Before we finished our meal,
you told a long-ago story of your grandfather,
who, on red
Brazilian clay,
built a wood and marble church.
Only your eyes invited a kiss.
We closed the hotel window
To escape nighttime carnivals below.
Across our bed, like a silk-flowered veil,
you slipped your body into and over my heart.
I remember I dreamt of
losing you before that rose-precious dawn.
Forever and forever, in a jasmine jardim,
are you always,
always (I see) .

Submitted: Thursday, June 12, 2014

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