In Perigord

Fern shapes in rock;
sponges
solidified in fluctuating neon;
human digits
scattered across gravel;
shapes of the Bear,
the Antelope;
glass bowls,
amphoras.

A courtyard of broken inscriptions.
Mosaic floors from the old Roman town
Vesuna
where children circle on bicycles
a tower split open down one side;
horseshoe of sky at the top.

The church bells toll:
“Tote dat barge,
lift dat bale”
for an invisible celebration,
a tricoleur and makeshift dais
erected in the empty plaza.
Snatches of marching music, an amplified voice:

un deux trois quatre
un deux trois quatre
ici
ici
un deux trois quatre
un deux trois quatre
un deux trois quatre
ici ici ici
ici ici ici

and an old man in khaki,
weighed down by enormous red epaulettes,
steps out of a public lavatory.


Poet's Note: 1988

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