hillsides trickle dust, a lizard coils
its false tail under a prickly pear.
Even rock is aromatic with sun;
oils of lavender and rosemary sublime
into superheated air, arthritic
roots haul us up a gully that sheds sweat
and stones under our feet.
These hillsides were terraced for vines
gone wild long since; here is what labour
comes to in the end, its forsaken love,
the scars of some lost wine war
Wild grapes are too sour for pressing;
they've strayed from the knife,
from grafting onto newer stock;
those cellars where cases of wine
and rifles were laid down
fall inwards onto darkness now.
The years that propped their vaults
- the constant temperature of air -
saw the sown stones of hope crushed, until
wishes sent after the old language returned,
bringing the Garnacha of speech
to christen its own elusiveness.
Air is resinous with scent,
a hawk drifts in your caught breath,
your knees gleaming as I wait for you,
watching the beach's turning
tide of flesh.