An Island

By white walls and scent of orange leaves,
     Come, I’ll tell you. I know nothing.
           By this this sea of salt and dolphins
I see but fish in a dome of sun.
In stars that nail me to a door,
     There are women with burning hair,
          And on the quay at night I fell
But hurricanes and rigid dawn.

On cobblestones at day I watch
       Some crazy seabirds fall and drown,
           And as the bodies sink to sand
I know I pay my birth with death.

I only see some plains of grass
      And sky-sleep in the crossing storks.
            I know nothing and see but fire
In the volcano of a cat’s eye.

From Mexico In My Heart: New And Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2015) by Willis Barnstone. Copyright © 2015 by Willis Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.