Today's poem is by Matthew Rohrer


Andalusia—the wavy
lines, the spirals of Ireland
the wine
can we have their wine?
they left in a huff
I said, in Spanish
the waiter took it away,
then we ordered
more. How did we get there?
It seems improbable, we
went from bar to bar,
on the rails, we hid
in a sack, we denied
our heritage. I fell out of bed
I loved her that much.
A great terror moved through
the streets below our balcony
and seemed to pass away
when we laughed—we reached
into the trees and plucked
the oranges. I fended off
the highwaymen. The terror
escorted us out of the alley
into the Ramblas and sat
in a cage—ah-oo! ah-oo!
a violent nudity overtook
us in our sleep. The stones
and balustrades cried
in near silence, but we heard
them, their tale
was black and it enveloped us
until we ran away from it
to the salon, where
the paintings were hung
and wept, and pointed
over our shoulders.
Behind you! Behind you!
It is always from behind
you the authorities
move in. We moved away
into a decanter of wine.
We hid in the dish.
The night drew the gauzy
curtains across us
while we slept on the floor.
Where the flaming arrows
lodged in my heart.
On the steps of the mystery
a beautiful woman sat down
to cry. Don't cry! Don't
cry, we meant to say,
it disturbed us too much,
and we moved away into
the grid of pigeons.
We were safe above the sea,
behind the battlements,
I hope I never see her again
soaked to her shoes in
silent misery—we moved
away to eat bread and cheese
in the park.
My heart burned on a spit
while I ate her pastry.
There was love in every
stone in the city
and the colors of it that bore
it to us each morning.
Lovely yellow. Lovely blue.
An elephant with a diadem
towering over the city
to calm it down
into peace, into sweetness.
I fended off the highwaymen
in the bushes there.
When we had to part
I was dressed so stupid,
didn't she see?
I dreamed the whole way
back I'd been beautiful
across the sea.

Copyright © 2008 Matthew Rohrer All rights reserved
from Salt Hill Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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