Passionate Italian poppies
flame red between the rusty railroad ties,
twisting in the warm Mediterranean breeze,
their jewel-toned faces
drinking humid air.
They bob on spaghetti-string stems,
their pulsing, seductive blooms suspended in midair.
Nestled deep inside ruffled petals,
black velveteen hearts lift up
toward milky clouds and endless green hills.
The smudged window of the battered, dying train
frames a world overtaken by beckoning shapes
of gold- and apricot- and cinnamon-colored
houses that sprawl contentedly
across sun-drenched earth.
Gradually, inviting little houses
with overflowing flower boxes
and tidy vegetable gardens
making way for the encroaching decay of the big city.
Passengers disembark, forgetting already
dancing red poppies,