Over the Bay of Naples, a trinity of Capuchin sisters
hurry from the edge, their blown cowls
the wrappings on grounded box kites.
You approach one with plastic bags in her arms
like white chickens charmed into silence
by the height and wind, and you speak.
Taken by caution or surprise, she turns away, the bags
flapping as she runs to join the others.
We follow windy black material down the mountain.
In the evening, still wet from our swim in the Grotto Azzura,
we find them in a garden, moving chest-deep
through hydrangea hybrids - vertical shadows
parting clusters of mauve petals, insects
rising and forming at the level of their breasts
as if flowers were releasing them.
You offer the peaches you'd lifted
from a harbourside barrow, your extended hands
attracting bees and light.
They accept your gifts in turn, and then they eat,
one hand under the other
to catch the clear, sweet spillage.
The peaches gone, they wipe their hands on cloth
drawn like smears of late sun
from their generous sleeves, give thanks and go.
Alone, we eat in silence. When I lick your wrist,
your fingers open, releasing parts of a broken seed.
When we lie down beside tall stems
dusty with light blown in from the harbour,
our lovemaking is desperate, as though
something beyond language has been freed in us