La Hormiga

For Mark


They say the rain in Spain

Falls mainly on the plain,

But in the hills of Bilbao

It falls mainly on us, most foully.

We two trapped in our tents,

Unfree to discover this Basque

City – its peoples, its streets,

Its sun-prized dust. So rent,

Our canvassed air is Eminesque,

Hot with memories and reminiscences.

My mind puns as readily as a

Sub-editor in the Sun’s offices

As I watch twinkling raindrops

Expiring in the mud. Toward me

You crawl, crossing a page where

Francis Bacon sits and stares,

Twin antennae twirling enigmatically

To reach a sense of recognition.

Dali would have us elsewhere:

Dodging bulls in Pamplona

Perhaps, or Seville, or Guernica –

Our bodies and heads reconfigured

By bomb blasts,

But we are here, you and I,

Where we have always been,

Plain as the still falling rain.

I think of Picasso, I think of Goya,

I think of Miro and a question mark

Hovers over my head. Under

My thumb I crack your back

And place you upon my tongue:

A sacrificial sacrament,

A cultural remnant,

A crumb of Espagne.