Carolina Ebeid • The First Age of a World Economy

A girl reading a letter at an open window,
the air scented with wet pavement.

She’ll curve the paper into the shape of a shell
and listen into the sea, its stammerings.

She’ll read the hand not the words: brazen
strokes of signature; letters that graph
the cursive cityscape; hasty peaks then
hesitation; then the black pond of a blotted pause.

The tongue of the bell, too, speaks: Someone
has been buried. Come, come home, it clangs.

Music busies the street at noon.

And always pigeons calling from the roof.
Clear chatter of girls—like falling coins.
And under this a desperate noise like wounded
horses carted off, and under this the sound
of something opening: row upon row

of tulips showing their brilliant throats.

Carolina Ebeid grew up in the Garden State. Her work appears in Gulf Coast, Poetry, and Agni. She is a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers.