In Sevilla


One night we were heavy in our thoughts.
In Sevilla, that glaze of tired air
we try to sneak past and ignore. I stood in the corner
of the “Cross-Cultural” patio, in the enveloping
dusk that crept across the tile to your feet.
The dance before me was more than simple.
It was your hour — little Hermana
Fast and sure with pointed fingers,
your stamps the kind I recalled later, knocking snow
from my soles in Vermont.

I stood there because I was a Visitor, a bird
of few feathers who could only watch from a perch
those dancing it — the spins and glides,
the music bouncing croons between courtyard walls.
What did I know with clumsy limbs, my reluctance,
my ears blind to music, no matter how loud?
You were quick, your face content
glancing only to teacher or partner,
and Sister was the silence of eyes
wrenching awe behind the lens.

At night we were heavy in our thoughts,
pausing at cafes and slouching in coats,
getting warm from the long stares of the men.
We munched black-footed ham. We drank wine
and spoke between the salty bites.
When you pivoted moves in crisp air
earlier, in my mind I scrambled the hill
after you, your skirt twisted, my legs running
gloriously, because we were leaving time
to the afternoon of hazy childhood.

For Lauren, February 15, 2007