Saturday Poem

Man Without Fear

I hear shots.
It’s the wind, I say.
Then, loud murmurs.
Surely the fountain below my room.

The moon is a bruised fist tonight.
It has obliterated the stars.

I sleepwalk across the tiny island
to you, mi Hombre Sin Miedo,
my stony love.
It’s dark and the padre in the chapel
with his missing arm and chipped toes
is soaked in yellow holy halo.

But you mi amor, my lichen-crusted
beloved, stand against this moon-lit wall,
eyes sewn to the sea. Such sadness
in the curve of your spine, the tilt of your neck.
Does the smell of death still reek
through the crevices of this blood-stained wall?
Do the cries of men in Franco’s blizzard of lead
still echo in the chiseled chambers of these ears?

Here are my eyelashes.
Take them in your lips.
Here is my forehead.

Let it rest on your chin.
Here is my tongue.

Something behind the wall shudders and
the ancient oak. Leaves flutter and rain.
We kiss like ghosts.

Sholeh Wolpé
The National Poetry Library