In Cork, I walked everywhere and spoke to no one
and wrote letters to send back home. I collected images
for them like nubs of colored chalk. Cerulean blue,
the sky above the old asylum. Two old friends,
up to their potbellies in the Lee, caps on the shore.
Sparrows erupting with the cries of school boys,
footballs crashing through the leaves.

                                                            My window
looked out onto lichened roofs, a cathedral, and the Virgin
Megastore. In the kitchen, Oksana washed her nylons in the sink.
She ate alone every night, shoulders hunched over the folding table.
Her halting English absolved us of speech. The pantyhose hung
drying by the dish rack: taupe, threadbare, clinging loosely
to the memory of shape. I closed my door, drew the blinds.
My letters were bright, and full of dust.