What Are We?
Where Are We Going?
a painting by Paul Gauguin, 1897
Splotchy underbrush of suggested trees, eely
vines, fresh water holes springs around us.
On cleared earth, kittens play in bowls or are
forever dozing. Milk goats wait to be milked.
The sun opens like a crocus making our
full bodies glow. This is what you will
remember—tourist, beholder—when all else
has been forgotten: mothers counseling
daughters by firelight, leafy branches gone
blue wishing they were rivers, girls lost in mild
thoughts you make blaze behind brown, soft eyes.
A dog sprints, startles into our lives: we smile,
return our gaze to you. Why do you ask
what you already know? Waves crush the shore,
answering. A mountain bellows in the distance
it is the goddess speaking. One day we will
enter her embrace. Until then, we seek
one another, restless, eager for warmth.