She asks me to find something beautiful
in this ongoing distress
and so I will tell her, and you, my friends,
that life on the other side of the world from you
springs, lush and green, wet dragon breath,
up from every crack in the muddy walks--
it climbs trees, it smokes out of shiny leaves
in fire orange flowers that shiver
like a horse's haunch, it scatters the flooded sidewalks
with trampled kisses.
Last night, Lizzie and I shared the bed,
stretched out under the churning "air con"
while wind howled rain against our windows.
Snug together, we cherished our closeness,
this haven high over the hooting, barking, cockadoodling city,
and listened in the dark to David Sedaris
burble on about roosters--what they say
in different cultures, how he uses that question
to break the ice in a new country, asking his cab drivers
to enlighten him,
("I will have to ask the guards,
tomorrow," I said, "what the roosters say here"),
his voice filling our room with
another familiarity, a gossamer thread to that
other life, the old life we've put off for a while,
sharing another expat's wonder at the world's
There are days when we lose track
of who we are and where we're going,
walking in circles,
rained upon, our umbrellas
snatched inside out, exploded,
by sudden, laughing winds.
Every day, our brains crack open
and the massive world jumps
inside us, takes us
over--how can we help but be
stunned? It's monumental, this
universal racket, this screaming wide
connection, this birth and rebirth.