Separate Vacations

She’s away from home,
but won’t say for how
long. Her husband is out

in the garage sawing
and sawing, wood dust
falling into fragrant piles.

He is building a chest
to store the many
photographs of cities

she has loved, blue domes
of a mountain town, green
and white awnings by the sea.

She wanders through
markets tasting sausages
and tea, watching dark-haired

girls transform into yellow
birds. Skirts billowing, they
soar above her head, breaking

ranks when sun gleams
like gold through afternoon
haze. A woman in a black shawl

offers a bubbling drink, then
slips through a doorway
in the red brick wall. Old men

beg for matches, which she
gives in a queenly way, gracing
them with a touch of her milky hand.