now and then a berceuse is caught between my incisors. in my neytal vein, i serenade duquende’s sepulchral howl. it has syllables like paper swans, it has a brimstone verse that stirs a controversy worthy of the most spanish red. you strip the winters blue skin off my lips in curls of chantilly lace. every lover i take has the finesse of a feeble-fingered couturier. the woman in the other room is the art of a voice ornamented from liquid gold. i urge you ask me the meaning of another foreign word. you laugh and confess that i am your foreign word. every stanza between us slithers thick as this hip-drummed melody of molasses. a single frangipani on the terrace stirs unkissed. a tired siberian husky rests against my knee. you tell me i soothe the wilderness of your nerves the way water comforts wounds. i speak the salt of andalusia, i speak the whiskey of saudade. i know the gypsy kids with cherry-rimmed cigarettes shock the american pilgrim in you. so, i wait for the eulogy of cicadas, the cannibal quiet of churches, the amethyst robed weeping of the black madonna. yesterday an estonian girl told me that their language had a word which meant the edge of ice. i think of a cantaora’s cries throwing their rope around the horse of a hermetic dark. let all leave with us now. come, amante – the collage of your body, i will peel apart. i have teeth for a heart.
duquende – a famous flamenco singer
cantaora – a female flamenco singer
amante – a Spanish term of endearment and respect