Evening in Naples

Ross leaned on the sill and looked out of the open evening window, called by the swifts. They swerved above, katana wings cutouts against the dipping sun; below, silhouettes of scythes sped across the late-drying sheets that hung from the balconies. He had seen them at home, where the Water reached the northern sea, but here they tumbled in shrieking crowds between the close red buildings and across the shining bay. He could go and get his camera or – no, perhaps not. It was enough to see them, and hear their bosun whistles, and remember them. His heart was of the sea and his hands of the sun; their cries were in his ears, and he smiled.