Monday, July 12, 2010

When I First Got There

When I first got there I drove past dying fields of sunflowers. I drove through winding mountain roads lined with green grass and smoke stacks and gray tiled roofs with lichen and moss, white washed crumbled houses caged in by red fences, tilted inwards or outwards by weeds or wind. One night we drank red wine in the garden with cheese, and the stars glinted off our eyelashes. I was surrounded by a language it was still ok not to understand, I could fall back in my chair with growing inebriation and watch our purple lips fill with moonlight. And in the daylight hours I could step through the village streets , my footfall light in the softened August sun, past timid church steeples and under a suntanned hilltop castle, and if I hadn’t been anticipating loneliness I would have seen more clearly how beautiful it was. Even the grafitied supermarkets felt lighter, like gravity had dissipated in forgotten places- in Rome my feet fell heavily, maybe too many feet had fallen there. But in Slovakia the corners were still unknown and the whole flowered country was sunlit. And somewhere among the beetles and shriveled canola blooms, I lay disappointed, because there existed Italy and France, and most of all that widened red-earth and concrete country of my life, America. Only now, when I belong to her again, do I think back to the dozing villages of the Europe no one knows, and wonder why I was not hopelessly in love with it.

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