European ritual


when a late breeze

opens the trees,

I think of summer

evenings in Europe,

how we opened our windows

to let the heat escape.

Everyone would lean

on their windowsills

like portraits of angels

propped up on clouds.

Across the street

we watched each other

watching day's retreat -

the sun swooning down

like a red kite,

houses stepping back

to keep from falling

into shadow.

But eventually,

shadow swallowed everything -

flowers, fences, trees -

even our window,

with us still in it.

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