Gina and I went to Europe in 1997...and there we found Hallstatt, Austria!
|With hand signals and our kindergarten Deutsch,
we manage to rent a rowboat,
some oars, and a silver lantern
just as dusk is stretching forth and spreading wide.
We’d seen locals on nighttime rides
like floating orbs along a blown-glass fishbowl’s
We’d read accounts of Third Reich weaponry
and Fuehrer gold gifted on the sly to fishes
forming shimmering streets of lovely lake floor,
inviting divers greedy for Hitler’s tender objects.
(We only want to see the stars).
Gina paddles tomboy strokes untiring
till we’re entirely encircled by peaks so close
we know we’re caged
and yet set free from all our cages.
Here Gina quits rowing, and we make a bed of boat,
sprawled on blankets from the Gasthaus
to face this new version of sky:
Here the moon must climb
and reach until her sliver finger curls
around the tops of trees and catches hold,
clinging in mountain climber fashion.
For now she hides, ascending.
Here the sky is cupped
in sloping artist hands
which shape and sculpt a clay container
fashioned to embrace
everything there ever will be…
a beggar’s bowl finished,
smooth as pearl fresh-pried
from queen-sized clams.
Inside are Samaritan offerings –
the opposite of gold;
a crossing over borders
toward injured cores unknown;
the delicious, liquid answer
to they who never bend.