I heard you in the garden
& I was afraid I was naked so I hid.
I was naked because I was afraid
—I said to myself.
Vox gone hidden in the imbecile garden.
In the traffic I hid me.
Fear smells mineral, petroleum, sumac, rain-lustered.
I drink the drams from its awe-silver limbs.
I heard your voice purpling like bellies of Peruvian
blues at various depths in soil. Away-from.
Artificial lights, they leave the leafy
night looking icy in unfinished colors.
I heard you say magenta:
three syllables swarming out the voice box.
Swarm brings back no mauvish/cyan/crimson
to your sightline but some tv snow.
A needle dragging skin-dust long the vinyl
grooves. Music acquires you in iotas.
As static I heard you whirling around the vinyl-
dark round & round—
Adrenaline alters the hide, hair.
I was afraid of the paradise in my ear.
Copyright © 2021 by Carolina Ebeid. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 17, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.