Rooting in brittle mortar—
gypsum plaster, sand, and water—
bougainvillea grew around the arches,
in walls, and through the fences of the town,
the one old woman in the town museum
opening a window in the spiral
staircase overlooking a river
and its alluvial leavings:
green, yellow-green, and brown rectangular
and polygonal plots along the river
beyond the town walls built, so the signs say,