My camera cannot emulate
the crisp white blocks along the shoreline across so much sea, the blue
so deep it fills you— peoples’ lives strung along the shore like pearls.
Soon they are your family, and you are theirs.
They wave from under lush trees—
olives in their fingers, baskets on their arms, and everyone, those in bobbing boats
or fishing off the pier, in restaurants leaning in to watch you pass,
or from a kitchen window high up the hillside— a woman looking out from a sink of dishes,
a sudsy hand reaching up, a ruddy smile caught in the rays of sun—and you wave back, “Mamma,” you whisper, her dimples deepening as she slaps her heart.
And as the coast disappears into the swell of night and the low stars of people’s lights switch on,
you feel a whole galaxy is yours, a family— that your relatives are still waving
across the channel, the strait, the ocean, the sky.