A storm from Africa visited the island during the night.

In the morning, giant clouds carrying the dust of the Sahara

billow high above the waves, like lemon-colored sails.

In a chalk-white house at the edge of the beach, a woman

sleeps alone on a rumpled bed:

blue sheets, white pillow, amber skin.

Outside her window, palm fronds snap in the wind

but she hears only the gentle breathing of

a man asleep on the other side of the world.

She feels his heartbeat through a thread as thin as a strand of saffron

that he has looped around his wrist. When she releases her end

of the thread, they will both tumble, together, into the clouds.

© 2007 J.M. Keating

Formentera, Spain

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