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 PyrénéesOrientales 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

open doors

but I did it anyway

I did it anyway

5 Replies to “Catalonia”

  1. 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.

  2. 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?
    our hearts

    how deep is the river?
    how cold is the water?
    how strong is the current?

    will we ever know?
    the answers

    why do we still jump in?
    why do we still try to swim

    do we want to know?
    the truth

  3. I keep reading this over and again, marveling at how deeply I can be deceived that I’ve led another life.

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