[The sunset-red boy]

The sunset-red boy in his little canoe

can only cast his line out so far


as his father stands grimacing

on an opposite island: an aging man 


in Crete who spat at me once, 

then peered into his little salty pool


with contempt that I turned my head away from—

if only to find the next blind peasant


lonely with his stories of St. Anthony


(he overheard them from the nuns

who passed through the island like clouds last July) 


and his open palms, expecting me 


to hand him the visible sun 

like a hot coin from his youth


spent wandering into and out of cathedrals

and brothels, not understanding 


the tombs he was kissing

or the marble faces


that watched him pleasantly 

in his boyhood sleep,


humming quietly to themselves 

about the price of light in the current market,


where the man who sells grapes 

charges one-euro-eighty for every basket


and leaves their seeds to float in the sea

like miniature boats towards Alexandria.