The Atlantis Hotel
Heraklion, Crete

4 am and we can’t sleep.
Greeks have no clock for quiet.
Congregated below our window
a youthful party throwing marbles
at the walls—no—it is actually
the language tossed about—
hard and round—good
for argument and passion.

No use trying to sleep.
We might as well join
the revelers in the street,
roam the town, search
for their forebearers,
catch the energy
of Minoans, Greeks, Venetians,
Turks—all those who actually
started this commotion.

It’s heard above the swollen
waves that pound against
the harbor walls, it ricochets
off narrow cobbled streets,
and, labyrinthine with desire,
follows passage ways
through olive groves,
through the ruins of Knossus,
to the elongated desires of El Greco.
In the puzzle of these places
the skin of history breathes.