WHERE WILL WE MEET?
The streetlamps of this city
suffer deeply at dawn.
Up so high
they cannot take their gaze
from the hustling workers
and every morning they would like
to free the fresh heart
imprisoned in the sandwiches
under their arms.
The acrid smoke of the first cigarettes
silences the sparrows in the park,
alarms the ill-natured pidgeons under the eaves.
The cuddly little children
still sleeping do not know
that they are condemned
to open their eyes again and again,
until the purple flow of the days
freezes their eyelids forever.
Don't bother to look for the cathedral in this city.
Don't bother to ask where the museum is,
no one will understand your peculiar question.
You are in pharmacy-land."
They are the outstanding feature
of our humble geography.
Right there we citizens meet
keeping our souls sheltered,
Right there we eat the whitest bread
and drink the whitest wine,
and thus fortified, renewed,
emboldened we face down
the endlessly attacking malevolent rain.
Train like veins
cross us from head to toe.
We sweat oil and thick grease
semen, a dark seed
on the blackest skin of tar.
in weak vending-machine coffee
and in the many factory dreams
glass scratches our arms.
the tiny skeletons of rats
fill with explosions and noise,
mushrooms flourish around them.
The elevators' damp speed
hoists the mold of a thousand blind things
onto the back of time.
Don't wait here for spring.
We always have winter here,
and the cemetery in the middle of town
is our most fertile of vegetable gardens.
Here, too, the truth of the sidewalk
drowns in a plaster of lies.
(c) Xabier Montoia