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Lorca’s Passport

In the photograph,
Which we know
The poet admired,
Which we know
He called spiritualistic,
The vague,
Spotted bowtie
Like a moth
Has come to rest
Slightly crooked
At his throat.
His shirt glows,

The visible portion
An upside down
Triangle or a lily
That has opened
To bear his head,
From the dark
Of the charcoal
Buttoned suit.
One eye on his face
Is shadowed. One ear
Is black, sucked
Into his hair.

The ear we can see
Is a luminous egg.
There is a pinprick
In the center.
The other eye’s socket
Swallows his pupil
Like a mote. “It borders
On the light
Of murder,”
He once wrote of it,
“Over my shoulder,
A sort of harp…”


The saddest trains go north.
Along the aisles
Men hang in place.

The grasp the drooping wires
And try not to remember
Their loneliness.

The women sit. They wave,
They move their hands
Like through water. They clutch

Their purses and square hats.
They are so busy, they have no time
To ward off stranger.

When this train stops,
All bow forward like in prayer.
The men unclench.

The women gather their things.
The hands of children still asleep
Are heaviest.