Caprichos

ribera-alv4083

I

Through the veins of light in the gothic quarter,
under stone in desolate La Ribrera,
I advance, but not as a guided pilgrim
doggedly seeking

God in Oz apartments or climbing stairs through
dry cement Utopia. Shadow-silver
dreams, the Spanish dance of a Goya etching,
carry me forward.

II

Acid black, the blood of this city seeks a
common level, splashing at dirty ankles.
Civil war graffiti and worm-rut doorways
decorate alleys

calling forth the conical caps and Roman
juries, ghosts and vaporous ruminations.
Undigested tapas or bad sangria.
Poisonous daydreams.

III

I have seen the emerald castle’s cornstalk
suns, its cranes and modernist script Hosannas,
shattered glass mosaics and forms of nature
frozen in sunlight.

Here its baking mountain of concrete martyrs
caked in summer guano will never find me.
Here the face of death is a nightmare only,
swimming in darkness.

Barcelona, June 20, 2009

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