In the movie of your memory
Rio envelops you like twilight
sneaking up slowly until night
falls and you are lost.
Lost in the aroma of roasting meat and passion
fruit juice, of piss and sweat, lost
in Christ’s eternal, concrete blessing.
But the truth is an abrupt assault,
a stunning cacophony of brake squeals,
unmuffled engines, taxi horns, the ubiquitous
dual roars of football fans and the Atlantic.
Rio intoxicates you, suddenly, with bittersweet
lime and sugar, orchid scent and warm sea air,
azalea and bougainvillea blossoms.
Bathes you in skeletal yearning, entices with the sense
that any thing can be, that music is all you need. Only
frigate birds and vultures indicate your peril,
but no one here looks at the sky.