The Fogs of August

Each morning the Sikh passes beneath my window,

turbaned and swathed in clothes the color of morning mist.

A wooden cane sets the pace like a metronome.

Each morning as the Sikh passes beneath my window,

our eyes meet,

and I wonder if he knows.

A group of women attended to me,

wearing uniforms the color of the sea.

Their morning smiles set the pace like an ocean’s tide.

Each morning as their hands reached out for mine,

our eyes met,

and I wondered what they felt.

As my bones begin to knit back together,

on the other side of the world 

men are beheading other men.

Why bother with such intimacy,

on this side, on our side,

when a gun will do just fine?

Each day I feel the symphony in my legs retuning itself

to the music my heart remembers.

This morning as the Sikh disappeared around the corner,

a butterfly alit on the railing hung heavy with raindrops.

Beating its wings slowly,

the pace marking the time it takes for a successful beheading,

a gunshot,

a walk in the fog.

But the time it takes for one woman’s hand to reach another’s

is like the sea tide kissing the shore.

I wonder what it tastes like.