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 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.