Blue Aegean

by Jacalyn Shelley

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                      This is not about a woman
climbing the volcanic wall of Santorini
where life clings to the hollow of its circular
edge. Or about how they lived in a white-

                      washed house, their windows
shuttered from the sun as he read mysteries to her,
his voice caressing her ears. Which could mean
all they desired was the warm glow of Amstel

                      beer, the smell of tomatoes,
black olives and goat cheese. Maybe this is
the part where he could only hear the chains
ringing from a priest’s incense burner. Hot

                      with embers, smoke seething
from its closed lid. The part about her disbelief
when he said he didn’t hear the tinkling of bells
that tattled she was coming, which means

                      all she knew was hunger.
This might also be about how she dreamed of
Manet’s Olympia sitting on ruffled white satin
cushions wearing only gold earrings and a bracelet.

                      About wearing an oval bauble
dangling from the black ribbon tied in a bow
at the front of her neck. The part about the look
in his dark almond-shaped eyes attracting

                      the blue light of her eyes.
But not about how they yawned and stretched
then strolled, each on their own, until his voice
no longer touched her ears. This might be about

                      her yielding of lips. About how
she once thought her shoulder could only fit
in his shoulder’s hollow.


end of story

© 2021, Jacalyn Shelley Also by Jacalyn Shelley