Living Midair    poems by Karen June Olson April 2019

Living Midair

Our hotel was built to hang
off cliffs with an overlook
above the Adriatic. We’d traveled
far, managed the Rome airport,
rented a Volvo, and driven unknown—
two tourists passing through dark mouths
of mountains on roads that coiled
to the sea. It was late to entertain
fear. Hadn’t we always lived midair?

That night we sat on a veranda,
our glasses clinked a cheer or two
and we noticed the moon rise
from the water as waves
seemed to give the needed lift
and curled around its bright edges.

You pointed to the illuminated cliffs,
and past,
where waves and wind carved
limestone, created cracks
and fissures. Rocks serve
witness to the sea,
tall ships and drowned sailors,
eras of pleasure and plunder. We overheard
the repeated beating and wash,
the moan of polished stones,
as if rocks spoke straight into our faces.

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