Las Fuentes del Algar

With Cupid as our guide, we climb the falls
and, holding hands, we play
in crowds less than existent this
fine February day.

Bright finches nest across from us.
A lordly dog befriends
our steps. He stops to wade a pool;
for him, our story ends.

For us, our history just begins
long after its first year
and we climb further up a track
less boulevard than tier

on tier on tier, to tease the sky
between the rugged rocks.
Frogs sing in ponds, and polliwogs
glide down the falls-like locks.

The track gives way to a steepening trail
that narrows to a trace.
The other hikers pause, turn back,
and leave to us this place.

We leave the path. We find the falls.
We splash and reach the source
where waters burst from naked rock.
Once introduced, they course

both ways: one river with two beds.
I test this novel sight
by tossing leaves in the highest pool.
They float, some left, some right

along two ways, the one we climb
and one that’s out of reach.
It stays for us a line on a map.
‘Our’ streams winds to the beach

as we will too, but we first must turn
and climb down from this rock
and splash to where the sun will burn
us dry. We see a flock

of February flowers raise
blue faces to the sun
and we, like them, stand still to praise
how Gaia’s overrun

these desert rocks with dampened life.
I think of Who made Her
but thinking brings me soon in strife
with seeing. I demur

to think. We’re blessed as we two walk:
The sprays collect in ponds
with basins white as bones or chalk
and ringed with date palm fronds.

A couple banks their clothes to clap
their bodies in the stream.
They embrace, and kiss, then swim a lap
to dissipate the steam.

If this be winter, leave me here
among the fragrant herbs;
and let me pay for visions dear
with nouns — and, if need be, verbs.