Timing

The old crooner wanders down a quay
humming softly to fireworks across the bay
that light up an old steeple in redgreen flashes
while the young girl dances between his legs
and runs down to the rocky ocean searching
for octopuses in the pulsing night and watching,
mesmerized, as a toy submarine floats past,
lighting up the silk-dark water and revealing
all the fish in such a way they seem
more like starlight than scales.

I know these two well, have seen them with me
everywhere, in meadows and churches
and quiet garden lots and places where the sky
seems like it lasts forever, or where the seas meet
and twirl a whitewind tango way out past forever,
and places where there is no sky at all,
just darkness and the hint
of an ancient elephant where once
nomadic naledi came to bury her dead,
a place where I fell last night and scraped my knee,
crying out softly in dream as I discovered
not blood, but the light beneath,
singing softly between shining points
as if it were not self but process,
and skin but a still symbol,
a no-boundary condition where dance
the thousand temporary cells of a passing soul;
just another name for the meeting place
of what is alone with what is forever,
a dance, a joke,
a well-timed full stop.

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