161 Readings

The Old Country

When they trepanned me I saw blue, green, yellow,

and violet over the gray hill, past the river of history beating

enormous and copper. Folk from the bloody town

fill their pockets with pennies. No one returns.

The old country is where they go, if you believe

the postcards, which say that even though the old country

is bloody just like our town, and the ash of revolution clouds

every fiery sunset, still you can hear a song

in each cold kernel of glass. A bloody song with a bloody chorus.

So why do the townspeople descend into the copper mine?

Why are their postcards so jubilant? I have pennies in a pickle jar.

They belonged to my grandmother. Her thoughts are rusting

through my eyes. The ochre in my lungs, the lacquer

on my bones. The people in my town and those who left

are humming. I taste iron and clay mud. I smell roses

and rotting wood. 

Posted 04/06/16
First appeared in Verde Que Te Quiero Verde: Poems after Federico Garcia Lorca.
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