October: Emergency

Is that you passing for a flower again,
on a green lawn fallen from a tall tree
where I’m walking with my hands up my sleeves
like leaves curling back into buds?

On a green lawn, fallen from a tall tree
With your skirt in flames around your waist:
Is that you passing for a flower again,
said the fireman, and you wouldn’t answer.

Where I’m walking with my hands up my sleeves
A red truck is parked with water pouring from it
like leaves curling back into buds.
Two blind Dalmatians argue with the dark.

Like leaves curling back into buds,
the petals of her lungs turned inwards.
Her voice sounded through the smoke
Is that you passing? for a flower again –

With your skirt in flames around your waist
you’re a burning village, a word for house,
a red truck. With water pouring from it,
your left hand is briefly a fountain.

Two blind Dalmatians argue with the dark.
Will they find their way back from the sea, I
said. The fireman and you wouldn’t answer.
we stood together on the lawn and watched her burning.

Package Tour #1: Southern Italy

two guitars strung up between a set of trees
with yellow rope
convicted of entering town past curfew.

your neck unbroken
is simply your neck,
your face folding inwards at its edges
like the brim of a collapsible hat.

under strange tables,
fruit and water.


the cave of miracles
at Anacapri.

			you had sunglasses on.
			the guide said,
			take off your sunglasses,

	guessing games		eye spy
hangman on restaurant napkins

 a pillar
with your water bottle on it
which held under a tap	is the lucky fevered baby
with cool water on its forehead.
you think about finding
something, a baby in a foreign country

on the plane, you think
of its camel skin

	camel olive taupe

that dark green khaki, there is a name for it
in catalogues, you know it, almost,
	that dark green khaki.

it would be in a natural place
bundle of heat
hold it under the tap
fresh water for visiting the lemon orchards
at Anacapri.




— was grumpy and wanted only

	but there is little point in bringing you anywhere very interesting if all you'd 
rather think about is all rather meals wanted never too far walk went
point bringing you here if all you think about walk is meals when all you think about meals meals straticella porcoline prosciutto pesca fresca esca esca ••salmonella•• Passport size matters. Eye colour vegetarian Weightt: blue Height: Occasionally Nationality: evenings and weekends after 5 PM Please have photo identifriskation ready redy redably readbbley for verifriskation Verificat magnifique Please. •• It's much too hot. But we see the sky at night through mud. When did the moon bake for us? It isn't matronly that way. Nonmaternal. You never baked us a thing, just these tossed dewy salads in the morning. ••• This civilization has been extinct for four thousand years, which relied in all things on
mud. A peevish culture, they were always breaking things. ••• Mud is notoriously useless for magnifying things. We thought/ if we got lightning to strike it/ the effect would be like lightning to sand/ the effect of glass. Mud wouldn't glass. A disappointment. Eagflic said: "Tempered to a firm glow, mud under water is wetly elegaic—algaeic." which means a dry thinning to make brittle lenses. Never see-through enough. I needed glasses growing up but the only glass we had was mud so they put mud in my eyes and had me stand beneath a lamp until it dried. Corrective lenses, my driver's licence read. There are some things you can't make out of mud, said the young revolutionary, so we made a rope of mud to hang her. It wouldn't tighten enough and the skies began to rain, rain rain rain "Weave grass into it," said Eagflic. It held, then. ••• why you're you're talking my ear off you're certainly talking quite a bit would you be quiet so I can listen to the guide.

(c) Hilary Smith. All rights reserved.

The bottom half of an image of a flax frond.