Day as in backwards
as in wisps of rain and a two-room flat against the sea
I loved the long flights of stairs
and the high-sided streets and the well-worn shoes just inside
I loved the love that walked in alone and took a table
near the window
Lay down your hollow sound my cuckoo
We are singing opera in the kitchen with the owner and the chef
A dozen trout are fished out back
Stars get strung
as in one true sentence at a time
Like someone who finished a story
begun long ago
When it storms the rooftops and the cliffs
Pigeons walk the pavement
A taxi hisses by
Where the last
open to the plaza
can hear it
Like someone clearing his throat before dawn.
When the cabby says “Are you crying?” because you really are crying, you say
A boy comes in with a tray of glasses. His sister leaves the door ajar.
Like an orchid bruised the moment you touch it. You know why you’re doing it
Like someone shaving across the courtyard, and singing.
Or sidewalk tables cradled in light, if that’s what you’re asking.
Or the smell of palm trees, and of the empty courtyard. Or the first raindrops, and
then their spattering.
Ralph Angel’s His most recent collection, Your Moon (New Issues Poetry and Prose) was awarded the 2013 Green Rose Poetry Prize. And his translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song, received a Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize.