Autorretrato: a Granada Cycle


She sees statues on every corner

and sometimes her legs harden,

body frozen on cobblestone

where las viejas sell rosemary nosegays

and young men urinate after dark.

La Extranjera

She keeps bits of home in her cheeks,

rationing off the taste of tofu

so she can last through the winter.

She craves real lettuce,

food with earth still attached.

Mountains hold her in sometimes

when buildings are too tall,

grass so impossible,

shadows so forbidding.

El Cielo

Today there are no clouds.

They have traveled elsewhere,

carrying some part of her along.

We’re alike, she knows,

The clouds and I.

Anglo nomads,

staying long enough to threaten tears,

moving fast enough to catch the sun.

What’s Left Behind

There are no waves here.

No tanks.

Other things flood her:

cigarette oxygen,

hisses of los borrachos,

kisses on both cheeks.

For months afterward,

she’ll structure her sentences

to the rhythm of stiletto heels,

flamenco wails,

wave massage on foreign soil.