When the first glint of morning light
strikes the office towers,
I drop an ice cube into a tall glass of lemonade
and sit on the balcony steeling myself for the sunrise,
awaiting the fiery touch.
As soon as it arrives,
the burning sphere sends sharp rays
ricocheting off tempered glass
and neon signs and parked cars,
along the stuccoed walls
and through the glass roof
of the plaza’s canopy.
We turn to face each other,
sun and I,
from our respective corners
of this ancient battlefield.
The reawakened fountain flashes below us,
swarms of moist light
almost dizzying from this height.
By mid-morning the water splayed
across the square will dissipate
and the concrete will be hot
and painful underfoot.
Within minutes, as I watch from my parapet,
an advanced rivulet
charges from the pool
toward the life-size chess board;
a spray of water washes
across the naked body
of a frolicking cherub.
Poem: The First Glint of Morning Light © 2013 by Shawn Radcliffe
Modeled on a passage from Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire
Photo: Director Park, Portland, Oregon, (c) Lavalle Linn