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Remastered Memory of Spain II




















Plaza de SANTA ANA, MADRID

 

‘In Spain, the dead are more alive than the

dead of any other country in the world.’

 – Federico Garcia Lorca

 

Patti and I are sitting in the Plaza de Santa Ana,

across from Cervecería Alemana, Hemingway’s

faded photo on the wall behind a dusty banquette,

American flag draped over a corner of the frame,

 

when she recalls with that luminescent smile

how we got lost in Barcelona, the two of us

wandering the Gothic Quarter before stumbling

into Museu Picasso, where I found myself

 

falling in love with his sketches, pencil and ink

studies, not the important works as noted

in the pricey catalog, which from then on

appeared to me slightly overworked, tasty

 

but a little dry, like last night’s overcooked fish

in Plaza Mayor where I could hear the tender

music of Cervantes in our waiter’s broken

English, rough pages ripped from spiral

 

notebooks, tossed in the night air like kites

soaring high above the square, scribbled stories,

not mine, perhaps tales of a boy with boyish

dreams back in the States, not me, maybe

 

Evanston, maybe Waukegan, early fall,

cool dusk, wind off the lake, shooting hoops

in the driveway, his mother’s voice a siren

splitting the day in two, just enough time

 

for a rushed last shot, an airball bouncing into

the garage, rolling under the Chevy, shovels, rakes

on the side wall, oil stain on the concrete floor,

feel of the ball still on his hands, he turns

 

and shoots, watches the ball arc and float across

the evening blue sky, sees it poised over the rim,

hears the swish, raises both hands, lopes

into the house, tuna casserole on the table.

 

            —SL, Port Royal, SC, March 2024



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