The Bath


Down a sandy path I trip on clattering little slippers,
And pull my kimona from the edges of little pools left by the rain.
In the middle of the garden I reach the bathhouse
And brush aside the lime tree boughs that hold the hasp.
The air is filled with the scent of the shaken blossoms
And the tang of the rinds of fallen fruit bruised by my heel.
Inside I fasten the clumsy wooden latch
And put my bare feet on cool squares of marble, half-sunk in moss.
I drop aside my garments and fling up my arms to meet the cool downfalling shower.
I throw back my head and laugh when it envelopes me.
The slits between the jalousies let the sunshine fall through in bars on the marble squares.
Where it stripes my skin, it turns it the color of the Quesqueldit’s wing when he cries in the morning.
With the wet drops still glistening on my flesh I slip into my kimona and step into my slippers.
I undo the latch and push through the lime boughs whose blossoms drip rain drops on my face.
And there not many yards distant, in the sunlight, stands my lover.
His eyes are gray and inexplicable as they meet mine.
Oh, I think the air of heaven must love him to surround him with that glory of light!
In one long glance, my body trembles.
I gasp, and clutch my kimona across my breast.
Then I flee down the sandy path.

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