What Were The Names Of The Towns

By Michael Ondaatje

What were the names of the towns
we drove into and through

stunned    lost

having drunk our way
up vineyards
and then Hot Springs
boiling out the drunkenness

What were the names
I slept through
my head
on your thigh
hundreds of miles
of blackness entering the car

All this
darkness and stars
but now
under the Napa Valley night
a star arch of dashboard
the ripe grape moon
we are together
and I love this muscle

I love this muscle
that tenses

and joins
the accelerator
to my cheek

This Poem Features In: