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Years After Toledo

Years after Toledo, I still feel the cobblestones
I touched, kneeling near the only mosque-chapel.
I could not get up, kept sliding my hand
over the rounded, dusty mounds. Una piedra, dos piedras,
was all I could think, knowing little more Spanish,
and less about love.

I had lost you in Madrid, among El Greco's hangdogs
weeping all over the place—how could I compete?
You drifted from me, eyes upturned, pious.
Halfway 'round the world, I still hear your breath in my ear,

intimate as a headache:  "Guernica... ah, Guernica."
It opened a space so wide we couldn't see ourselves.
We parted at the foot of the Pyrenees, in the rain, sad as saints,
stoic as continental shelves.

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