True, beauty fades
in our minds however
we recall our parents
the shine still on them
before they knew disappointment
maybe it’s fabricated
like thinking you bled all over the sheets
only to wake and find
the bleed is metaphorical
if I saw you now
walking straight legged and fast
through rain coming down at an angle
I’d rush to hold your bags, open the door
edge myself into your life
with the persistence of my stride
it wouldn’t work of course
you’d see me standing there
chimera eyes like yours
different skin and hair
and not recognize me
despite the way my wrists
are made of dolls bones like yours
or the osculate of my upper lip
how I move my mouth in glimmering French
even as I speak another language
a harpist at Whole Foods once noticed my dispossession
she said; You grew up speaking a Latin language didn’t you?
I can tell, I study mouths and how
they form and move on instruments
I thought of you playing piano, singing war songs
how the women in our family have long fingers
the neighbors boy laughing at mine when
at halloween I used them for costume
needing no further prop than genes
I laugh at myself a lot these days
it takes the stinger out, my grandmother said
pulling the body of a perished bee from my palm
like a damson cheeked fortune teller
O I wish she had been a palmist
I’d have asked her then;
how do I keep your roses free of blight
when you lie beneath them in fecund soil?
And how do I keep us whole
when fracture is a chasm ever growing?
I went with you to see him
I did it for you, even as the bile in my throat was thick
I stayed in a room by myself, the walls red and redolent
of cold days and unheated nights
I heard you when you got up in the night in Catalonia to pee
we drove down the Pyrénées–Orientales laughing about losing the key
I watched your profile against mountain light
the sculpt of your cheekbones and luminocity
of your Occitanie eyes
I wondered if anyone had loved you as much as I did
then and when
I wasn’t old enough to hold your bags and
but I did it anyway
I did it anyway
5 Replies to “Catalonia”
I read this and somewhere, deeper than deep, feel the empty ache of a love unrequited, of which hope refuses to entirely die. And for all the pain, there is beauty too.
Your exquisite finale, coincidently, seemed to match these words of mine that I wrote this morning … I haven’t published it yet ..
“We Are Strange”
how high is the sky?
how warm is the air?
how strong is the wind?
can we fly without?
how deep is the river?
how cold is the water?
how strong is the current?
will we ever know?
why do we still jump in?
why do we still try to swim
do we want to know?
The longing is patent in this lovingly poignant poetry
I keep reading this over and again, marveling at how deeply I can be deceived that I’ve led another life.
You gave me such a huge grin with this comment my friend
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