Arrival At last, you said, arrival. The place was gaunt, no trivial adornments, superfluous curlicues distracting us from country views, the long sweep of distant hill, the air steeped in summer, still as silence. We unpacked cases pleasantly weighted with those presently thrown on things we'd brought to spoil us, panderings to seal this as summer. We were strangers here, newcomers entering their escape from lives of previous shape- lessness. You brushed your hair out, swinging the mane of it about in a new found act of careless satisfaction, as if you could bear less the tight knot of work than this first step to summer bliss. The bleached, whitewashed walls, the static-like, grating calls cicadas made, the olives sweet-sour smell like polish, light, luminous and bare as a white sheet, the air a perfume of dust and roses. It was like a place that half supposes itself loved, half loathed, for all it is; free, ascetic, full of lethargies. I knew then we'd never leave and I continued to believe us there, even when back in the cold city suffering lack of light, astringency, darkness scouring us out, remarkless for whole evenings, as in our eyes that gaunt place deposited it's lies, it's blandishments, the ticking hope of what is warm, an air you envelop, savour, taunting us to submit. The illusory, haunting, shape of it.