Down through the misty rainforest, under hanging curtains of vines and fog, along the edge of a narrow and dangerous road in the morningtime, through dirty, smog-filled streets that wind into cobblestones and walled courtyards, down through an unmarked gate. Tile floors safe to bare feet, sand safe under toes. The wooden-paneled doors facing the courtyard slide open and closed, and Stasy beckoning me in for us to whisper and hide a burden between us.

Smoking on the beach while hunting seashells, hair rustling tangled in the sea-salt breeze of the Atlantic. Call of some strange bird I've never heard before and never will again. Pull of a cigarette, strange habits in a strange land. Drink of cachaca, strange liquor I'll never seek again, melting through plastic to splash against cobbles.

Retreat from the thatched meal hut to hammocks, swaying gently between palm trees, between fronds. Warm in a balmy stillness seaside. Fronds nod overhead, the world holds breath for a moment, waiting between endless beginning, an endless future, an endless end.

When I close my eyes the sun is setting.

When they open, the stars have come out, one by one, diamonds in a Brazilian night.


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