PATRICK WILLIAMSON

Cordoba

 

Lucio is eaten away by loneliness. La Calahorra

is a house of dialogue, and birds

full of chattering trees, at midnight the slats are occupied.

 

Beyond the locked gates the ghosts of the murdered,

exiled and persecuted, slip though the shadows.

hyacinths grow through cracks streaming with blood.

Roll up your sleeve, show me

the number you escaped from, those I have fled.

 

                                                    I turn round, caught

in an intricate nightmare of whitewashed walls, twisting.

My silence broken by squeals of anguish.

I toss and turn in my keep, decisions I cannot deny.

Dragging into the cold light, huddled in hurling crowds,

all doors shut and barred. Hold your tongue.

 

                                                 Who owns

the wreckage of lives. Memories, names,

this book of soldiers’ home snaps, this Talmud class

chilling eyes of vanished worlds.

 

          *        *

Darkness falls on the Guadalquivir,

a woman’s dark hair and the river

half naked, half dry

runs through the rushes, over the river bed.

 

I sip rough red wine, black as venous blood,

stifling the long night. Words

behind reveal blind attitudes,

and silent spirits of life

 

this hill, those black shadows,

leaving footprints in the dust

of these hot burnt hills

blown by the only wind left.

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