Santa Cruz, CA
Outside the spa double Datura spiral open
their claw-like petals turn up slightly.
As buds lengthen gradations appear from white to coral,
and blossoms rotate as a new-born star.
Inside I am led to my room where tea and two cups,
a towel, and a spa, with a gentle bubbling surface, invites.
Flute music sets the tone as I ease into the hot tub,
I soak for a while, then
with my arms over the transom of wood and paper screens
I delight in a Japanese garden outside.
A stand of black bamboo clacks in the breeze
The fish swim in a pond below
I watch their movements
relax my body
A white coy swims under red maple leaves
and around a stand of grasses.
It noses the surface for food, its maw opening and closing
then swims around a golden one, a spotted one, a brown one.
I could watch them for hours as I move my legs
the same way as their fins then slide back into the spa to float.
My hour is up. I shower and dress again. Feeling reborn
I slowly float out under the perfumed canopy of Datura
out the bamboo gate
stars glittering all the way through.