There are no orchids here, and no long shore
teeming with raucous life, no salted wings
rising above the multicolored boats,
no overwhelming breezes, and no tides
rising, impelling everything that floats
to shore or seaward where no warbler sings,
and no palm trees, waving their endless fronds.
Instead there’s only heat: the algaed ponds
cannot reflect the sky or even trees,
birches grown bare above them, whose bare limbs
are falling constantly to riversides,
and floating downstream where a viper swims
in wait, for me or you, and all of these
impressions have combined to replicate
the feeling of an ever closing gate.
I want to leap it, get away, become
something completely other, changed somehow
just by the landscape, as my life divides
between the endless blossom and the bough,
walking in rhythm to a restless drum
to Panama, Maldive, or Singapore.