Lines and Spaces
All morning, I have been telephoning abroad,
talking of politics, plagues and our vain efforts
to control any of it. Our languages are clumsy,
knit together with dropped stitches, our voices
warming to distant communion. I swear
one day I’ll visit Bordeaux and Berlin, see my niece
in Madrid, drive to family in the hills of Lancashire,
drink coffee again with cousins in Bergamo.
I will renew my passport, subject myself
to the ocean of airline indignities,
arrive exhausted at a changeover airport
bursting with more lines, security checks,
immigration, full-body x-rays, human chaos.
I’ve read of hijackings, the mass mayhem of guns,
and nations’ sovereignty. Wars have been fought
and tribes separated by tyrants, flags planted to claim
an arbitrary patch of earth, a different alphabet.
Elephants have crossed the Alps for this.
Islands and glaciers have merged, emerged
and disappeared into seas of fish and plastic.
Here’s a photo taken from space
of something not owned, miles beyond
gravity and greed. Globed blues and greens
shimmer through the cosmos, a topography
not of our making, turning slow on its axis, sea and land
a pas-de-deux to the inaudible music of the spheres.
Who wants anything less would do well
not to mend walls but lower them, stone by stone,
open meadows to whoever’s feet leads them there
to speak to their neighbors and sheep, to swap recipes,
books, hived honey, to share a sunset that drops
a purple cloak on our communal home.
Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in such journals as Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, ParisLitUp, Mediterranean Poetry, Acumen, and Journal of Italian Translation. Her seventh and most recent book of poems is EDGES.