Umbertide’s countryside pulled then kneaded between the wind’s hands.
Colors unstudied where human activity hasn’t yet
congealed, and in the distance, patchy skin of hills
and fields smooth as if shaved twice by a straight edge.
Here, capricorn beetles sew unseen veins into the ground.
Every now and then, a car is met with indifference
as it carries its single breath along the only road.
No sooner than it appears, blurry emotion left in the wake
burns off the way urine and pig fat does beneath Mediterranean sun.
And nearby: people.
People and the many textured surfaces they cling to,
thick crust over the layers of the dead below.
Still, emptiness remains the earth’s refrain.
It’s a form of memory that only history knows.
Horse flies form a warm sheet
around a dung pile
Playing the audio file
of a girl in a detention center
one makes out the sound texture of ribs
that expand and compress
Disparity between the consciousness
of a given moment
and the state of being that parts around it
The pulse of the imagination
A manner of truth that says
don’t turn to face me
Photograph © Michael Hänsch