It could, I suppose, be any where in the world, any season:
a light rain
on red tiles
over which people skitter,
thrown like leaves on the warm-cool air.
In my mouth the ebb taste of a long held wish
To be the inheritor of exile
is to be born in search
and doomed to continue.
Yet, rain and its awaking smell
alive and mineral;
Yet time drifting over me
once and again
each brusque wash thief of sound;
Yet the click and release
which grows less definite, but more sure:
my great great grandparents hover behind me
a few Saltines they have snuck along
for the journey.
I hold their hands in mine
soft as paper folded and refolded.
I raise their hands
to kiss the palms, and the slow wrinkles,
firm and focused as I would the lips of a lover,
discovered beneath flotsam of distraction and nervous noise.
I know less now
but that wish goes hushing in spite or because of my own losing track,
its rigid fire goes dampening–rain, in any alphabet, spells home.
I murmur to the quiet watching of this circle of elderly ghosts,
“And if we call it by a new name? not lost or fleeing, not exiled any longer…?”
A great great grandmother bends toward me, Saltine extended,
in creaky voice replies,
“Have a cracker, bubeleh.”