A Postcard from Greece
from sleep, as we slipped out of orbit
a clothespin curve new-watered with the rain,
saw the sea, the sky, as bright as pain,
outer space through which we were to plummet.
guardrails hemmed the road, no way to stop it,
only warning, here and there, a shrine:
tended still, some antique and forgotten,
of oil, but all were consecrated
those who lost their wild race with the road
sliced the tedious sea once, like a knife.
we struck an olive tree instead.
car stopped on the cliff's brow. Suddenly
clung together, shade to pagan shade,
by sunlight, air, this afterlife.
© Modern Poetry Association. From Archaic Smile,
Evansville Press; originally printed in Poetry;
by permission of the author.