In yellow fluorescent sneakers
& sweat stained golf hat, he walks beside
a woman whose lilac tinted silver hair
spills over a black backpack.
Behind them, two more in batik shawls
& earphones, precious stone
earrings & nose rings,
swing skin bags & handkerchief hems.
The cave paintings on the walls of my mind fade
under this rough carbon-layered breath,
spores & salts that ride along
land over my primitive ocher hand prints.
I am paid in berry juice:
purple & orange & red.
The tourists collect an understanding
that water is simple, cyclic, constant,
that rocks are in a rush to dissolve,
& the music and dance of the volt
are the only path from green-black deep
to tongue-numbing cry in our blue air.