For No Reason at All
— Catherine Arra
They loop time
their lives, rings on a slinky
silvering through a wormhole
the hard-baked hills of Sicily.
I follow four generations
to the lamplighter in Grammichele
walk the six-sided polygon of streets
carry a torch and kerosene
repeat sera sera buona sera to passersby
accept a glass of beer in the piazza.
What connective tissue, webbed DNA binds us?
Tenders me to this American port
rocking in the tides of my life
I went to Grammichele barely able to speak the dialect
walked the perimeter and spokes of the hexagon
bought cemetery daisies for the concrete vase
at the generational grave, kneeled up close
to their images ovaled in marble
their eyes alive looking back.
Is something calling beyond my ability to sense
Is it in the dust twinkling beneath closed eyelids
I left that summer afternoon
after siesta, after prosecco in the piazza
sun still burning high Sicilian blue.
The streetlights, each now electric
for no reason at all said the locals
when I asked, why?
Per no ragione affatto.
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