(for Uzma and i.m. of her friend Ghazala)
With his song, the crooner tries to connect
over lunch, where the Nasca lines connect.
The Cusceñan haiku poet, sharing
his favourite Japanese master, connects.
At Machu Picchu, after the mist clears,
a young Israeli takes our photo to connect.
Pedro and I banter while our flight is delayed:
he wonders if the Incas had help, connected.
The toddler who held back from chatting, smiling,
fist bumps me when we say goodbye. We connect.
Californian Mike tells me about the twenty veterans
who take their own lives each day, who disconnect.
At Puerto Lopez, the artist-in-residence shows
us his garden, his cabins, his paintings -- connected.
After the whale-watching trip, the seasick woman
tells me she's a missionary, connecting.
I ask Bonnie if she believes in evolution:
'I'm a Christian, those fossils aren't connected.'
The old German lady at the Quito traffic lights
warns me in English about pick-pockets who connect.
She whose names mean: one who intoxicates,
one-eyed woman of sorrows, yearns to re-connect.