In the courtyard with lemon trees
and the fountain she rises slowly,
so slowly. From where I’m standing, she rises
from the water, her beauty ranges over
the tiles, her lipstick slipping as petals
slip, her perfume our mysterious mist.
We embrace arranging our pale bones
cautiously as though I’m a dove and she’s
a dove. Don’t get old alone,
she whispers into my hair.
Her new boyfriend, Lee, sixty, well,
sixty-something takes our
photograph by the fountain.
She wants to know the condition
of my heart. It’s not too soon,
she says, to find a new lover.
She scares them off, Lee says,
Can see that by looking at her.
She should ask my advice.
But she won’t. Which is a shame.
Because I know men.
I look him in the eye.
My aunt and I hold hands.
I’m open, I say. I am open.
My aunt takes off her ring,
puts it on my finger.
She shines as a child.
Here’s lunch. Soup and the famous
salad, white wine and shrimps,
Lee rocking back in his chair
to reach, he thinks, I think,
unseen, his hand
down into the
endlessly circulating water
in the cool well.