The Fieldstone Review

The Guadalquivir in August

Daybreak, and I amble down Almansa
through haze that screens the thoroughfares.
This is my timeless habit, as are sleepless
eyes, heart meds, fried eggs,
letters I forever fail to send home.

For now, this river grows only silence:
embankment walls beveled
with first light, stone stairs that dip
to its smoke-green glissando.

The sun begins its hard lock on the streets.
By noon, every doorway will be threshed
by heat.

On Isabell’s bridge, someone still sings
last night’s ballads. I want to join
in, but a raw tongue and dry throat
have stolen the words I need.

The river conducts its first traffic.
Crows appear unsummoned
like blown cinders, lumbering in the soft
surprise of blue, troweling with beak
and claw the scraps of castoff fish.

I watch the bridge, the errant singer
now gone. A kestrel’s shadow
wheels in from nowhere,
hangs flightless over the river.