The Queen of Naples, asked about Her Childhood Home
It had no name, no proper trees
(our fires were built of lumber washed from wrecks).
Uncharted and unclaimed except by Cal who called it his
Bee Isle. A touch of Ustica,
same burnt volcanic rocks
with tunnels, caves and underwater scratchy shelves
where phosphorescence, streaming in
at night, anointed sea anemones and spangled urchins.
Same teeming fish and curious young gulls
neglecting nothing, picking over
sea-stripped finds, rag and bone, fisheyes.
Same climate, harsh – almost too dry
for birds. Father would stand
above the beach to welcome huge migrating flocks.
They dived and fell like grain on dust.
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