First there is the scent of barley
to remember. Barley and rain.
The smooth terrain to recollect and savor.
Unforgiving whiteness of the room.
Ambiguity of linen. Purity.
Mute and still as photographs on the moon.
Everything here must be analyzed.
Catalogued. Studied twice.
A painstaking arrangement, almost vain.
Brandy glass with its one amber eye
on the bedside table. Shirt
draped across the chair. Woolen
trousers folded neatly in a square.
Little clock repeating —
Not a stray whisker.
No comb full of dead hair.
No cup filled with coins and cuff
links and fingernail clippers.
A scrupulous chess game.
There is much to learn.
Grace of the neck to memorize.
Heliotrope of sleep.
Hieroglyph of bones to decipher.
Love, if at all, comes later.
For now, the hands take to their dialogue.
Gullible as foreigners.
A greedy chattering, endlessly on nothing.
Nothing at all.
by Sandra Cisneros
(poetry and prose that remind me of archaeology, part 2)