Friday Poem


Soleá *
Randolyn Zinn

No singing. No dancing.

Let the spores multiply on the dishes. My feet won’t move.

Outside the window celadon leaves tremble against the glass

but they don’t comfort me. It will take stillness to recover

from yesterday’s news. What was I supposed to do…?

Oh yes, limes and plums. There are mouths to feed.

But first le me mark out the counts of your absence,

Palm against palm.

Uno dos quatro cinco siete _ nueve _ un dos…

Hands lay quiet in my lap now, fingers won’t make

a flower, and dreams are no help. I looked for you

all night in tablaos, found a shawl you might have worn once

strewn across the floor of an empty house in Càdiz.

I was strangely happy in the search.

Por ti

las horitas de la noche

me las paso sin dormir…”

I haven’t forgotten the tangos, the siguiriyas,

the sequence of arms, right crossing left,

snapping pitos keeping time, awake all night.

The fleetest hours were yours.

I want to hear my shoes—black, with nails hammered

into wooden heels–pounding out zapateados as crisp

as machine gun fire. And my skirt—the tiny house I lived in,

my silk casita, dyed the color of blood to attract the bull,

swirling open from the cries of Gypsies.

¡Ay, ay! ¡Ole¡ ¡Asi se canta! ¡Asi se baila! ¡Ole.!

I could walk down the hill and buy a bottle of Rioja

to drink tonight at sunset, but my feet won’t move.

When I close my eyes, your face quivers on my lids,

in time with the echo of your song.

(* in flamenco, a song or dance of pathos, usually performed as a solo )