all the leaves were beginning
to say winter will be here soon, "cross my palm".
And one, the handsomest of them, saw the young man
walk down his own shadow towards messages stirring in the morning air,
towards the three, older now in the pale light of the tree -
And the statue of the Marques de Pombal with a lion,
against the bow of a caravelle and a bull yoked to the base surrounded by traffic-
Why should the young man need to know how soon
the weather was about to change and the shape of ships turning in the wind-
What could happen.
And she, the handsomest, the one with the level gaze, touched him,
to stop the tree and the singular morning from going away somewhere
to a static place
and spoke of breath filling lungs,
golden islands, body lights
from which there are no exits.