Return to Las Escobas Restaurante
…drink and eat, for God gives you His indulgent smile.
– Baudelaire, Abel and Cain
Midday, give or take an hour, and I’m back
in Sevilla from predawn walks beyond
the river. Somewhere in those fields I lost
the names of wildflowers, names of all trees,
save the olive groves a farm woman owned
who’d loved me once in Almensilla.
Thirst-laden, I press parched lips to the chipped
edge of a glass of rebujito, knowing the white
sherry that swims through the mix will one day
burn a hole somewhere deep inside me.
My eyes shift to the pavement that funnels walkers
up from Puerta de Jerez. All week, storm clouds
have dimmed this street. But today they won’t find it,
furrowed by Andalusian sun, by the footsteps
of a merchant, his eyes lowered like a convict’s,
pushing a cart of iced calamares, finessing
his way around the growing crowds.
Enough daylight left to spend, I could drift back
to those fields I’d taken to in the early hours.
But perhaps I’ll linger here, far into moonrise,
gather sounds of longing in men’s voices singing
homeward. Or in my own voice, held so long that silence
feels like infidelity, like far-off fields that almost
turned their backs on me, vanishing into rain.
About the Author
Jeffrey Alfier’s recent books include Fugue for a Desert Mountain, Anthem for Pacific Avenue, and The Red Stag at Carrbridge: Scotland Poems. Publication credits include Copper Nickel, Midwest Quarterly, Poetry Ireland Review, and The McNeese Review. He is founder and co-editor of Blue Horse Press and San Pedro River Review.