IN THE CAPITAL by Michael Bazzett
It is a hillside town: houses stacked
like pottery on shelves. From the window
you see two schoolgirls walking uphill
holding books to their chests, white socks
drooping in the heat. The man painting
the water tank of a building across the valley
has descended to the shade to eat his lunch.
The tank waits impassive as a farm animal,
contemplating the buttery hue of its belly.
Wash is strung on lines like pinioned wings.
The old man on the balcony across from us
is twisting his shirt in heavy ropes to wring
the sunlight from its folds. A small basin has
been positioned below to catch the stream.
What trickles out is cloudier than expected,
a pale yellow liquid the color of young corn,
but it is also faintly luminous and it is this
mundane detail that you will later remember.
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