Les Roberts 2013

Mothers tired at the seams,

Breasts slumped like hounds

On terracotta siesta floors.

The pungent dark of Spanish gardens

Lingers. They wear the heat still,

These skin-wrapped bodies,

Burnished and tender as

The nights left behind.

Ruffle of hair that remembers

The shape and kink of other reposes --

Water's shrill embrace,

Muffled rush of a world dragged under;

Fleshy drownlands of shuttered

Afternoon apartamento rooms;

Or the cool air brush of ceiling fans

That wobble when fast.


Children scale the seat backs,

Unbuckled at last. Eye-spy

A loved one down the canary yellow

Cabin aisle. Chin-jut jostle and scrum

As bags cascade into waiting laps.

A moment of triumph before

The final push. And luggage,

Like the weather, a conversational refrain;

The currency that binds: from strangers

To mass-transit brothers and sisters in arms.

An excess baggage terrorist,

The girl in 21C is no longer in tears.

A departure gate bust sent her

Crashing down to earth.

Outside, the hum of floodlit northern skies

Welcomes her home.




August 2013