How Is It?

How is it that the flash of your mind

on mine that day we met made electric currents

run through my eyes and I see in yours

the darkening plain which you traveled

while I waited  beside a silent shore for a boat

that never returned as you sat drinking tea

under a Jerusalemsky with heavy armored boots

and silver swords laid in green velvet?


How is it that you look at me

and I see your smooth brow like a wall

behind which generals bend over tabled maps

preparing for a siege, and your dense dark eyes

hooded with hawk feathers watching movement

along the front lines, and your soft mouth

smiling as you discuss kings and ransoms

on a dark Arabian mare against a desert sky?


How is it that you arrive unannounced

into my heart so that I cannot judge

the worthiness of your suit and receive your gifts

from the sea, for you were not who I thought

you would be this time and the spark that traveled

from mind to mind was not matched

by a physical recollection,

but none the less it was you and it was I.


How is it you say,

“We are as different as night and day,

as black and white,

and nothing it is that we share,

from the color of our hair,

to the language of our fathers,

to our generational tribe, is the same.”


How is it I say to you,

“Take away these incidentals and see.”


Do you understand?


(1996 – a glimpse into memory)


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