To Villa Pamphili . . . running with Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass

AutumnForestPath

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1MJnxw9Uoq6

To Villa Pamphili 

Start running

Start running

from the door

up the steps

urine smell

of cats

to the corner

Garbage

spills to gutters

and the sidewalk

stains with grease

Run

past the curb

to the other,

up the pavement

to the station

where the boxer

growing old,

now retired

pumps his gas,

flatters men

he doesn’t like

and he bows

a formal ciao

to a woman

running forward

wanting back

all the body

she once had.

Rhythm though

monotonous,

She knows she

must stay with it,

jog to find

an equilibrium

and make it

past the stores

with their trinkets.

And the cars

buzz like gnats,

shrill her ears,

fill her lungs

with their fumes

and the buses

packed with bodies,

bunched up stems

Bouquets

of stinking weeds.

 And run

past the church

that is empty

always empty

save for fat

black-shawled women,

stub hair back,

short, and stockings

slide in shoes

worn from shopping,

cooking,

cleaning,

chopping,

stooping,

taking

care to serve.

Hurry

to the villa

up ahead.

 Walls

shot with holes

of cannonballs

from the time

of Garibaldi.

Outside.

That’s the outside.

And the ramp

will take her inside

Enter

through the portal

and then jog

to the open,

to the garden

that has been here

all this time she was

running.

Feel the pulse receding

as she leaves what’s outside,

outside

slowing,

breathing,

walking

over bones sedate

in their rest.

Birds, squirrels, chipmunks,

water flows over rocks,

obedient to no force

but their own.

She lies down with them.

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