We Had Figured It All Out:
Brian W Hedgepeth

what the evening sun did at night                 the horizon el flavedo, its glare
albedo,         its carpels punctured, juice tears from the rind,          a Blood-
Orange Sanguinello twilight                fissured into specs, sliced into slices.
Streamed.               Shimmered. Geodesic spots in the cool                granite
promenade etched with theta.               We enfolded the nectar             over
pot-bellied pitcher sweats on our wrists,             dripping into wineglasses
came cava sangria.                      & those black silhouettes stole us in Spain.
Fourteen human statues                         linger always in deciduous longing,
upwards & imperceptible.                     Performing all day time-lapse roles
at normal speed. Crackle of old film,            & cicada prattle of immigrants
peddling comic                    bird-callers. Hablamos concertos, our nimbled
tonsils harmonic as the day’s mirage distortion       recesses its heat down
onto our bare feet.         Held. Bedded. Untaken body,       still awake to be
alivened again         in the stretch of Catalan night.        Dusk sat down too,
a single            buttock in a chair & we, mesmerized.            Drunken drank,
having bicycled legs numb                  to Park Güell that spit the city below.
Sun beat down, up us beaten                              by the five-kilometer road—
Gaudi’s gurgled mosaic falls. Tidal tongues                          gentling lapping
at his sand castles. Swallowed.               Tracking down through la Rambla,
tributary, out into Mediterranean.             She sleeps & fells her salt         &
breaths pleasing us pleasing her.                           We gulp sea. We fuck sea,
in kind solitary watching.
Ruso y Polaco, Francés y Británico                     y Estadounidenses y chinos
y japoneses sudando.                             Folding knees, bellies, breasts, flesh
opening shirts not for fashion.                        Denim sopping. Oxfords hung
like drooped flags dark widening                           halos on napes & armpits.
Tourists crowd. Bind together          in strangeness, leaning south-easterly
over the tiled precipice.                                Fathers careful with each frame
of their handicam, collection. Less                   Barcelona pulls up her skirt,
unnoticed.              Her eastern flank, el Barri Gotic.              El Raval oeste.
La Rambla central.       Drop a seed there, in the gutter on        the melting
ice that mattressed            scallops, mussels, fish-heads,             exoskeletal
prawns, & all other aliens            of el marcat de la Boqueria. An unbroken
economy camped by Plaça de Catalunya                         since the year 12-17.
Humidity in our hair,                             matted into this slip in the timeline.
At day’s end, by the flowers         we drank as they were put to rest. We all
drink. We all eat, claro. Unburnt,                our shoulders nude in tanktops.
Tunneled in breeze, stony, shaded                      in the boulevard periscopic
de la Rambla, beneath its colonnade                        roof of slender platanus
hispanicas trees elongating.       Todas de las Rambla’s human statues too,
must smoke, must soak in language murmur,                must siesta at Park
Güell                Like him—dreaded hair bronze,                   furrowed cheeks
indented-sculpted            as if his dermas lathed, suit            dipped golden.
Breeze stilled in the cloth,                          like a flash photo. Humming full,
cardiac skin. Yet his posture,         off-the-clock, meditative with cigarette,
denying character, denying           the performed life—          an unrelenting
departure. Vibrant                    as the sand glimmers and clouds underfoot.
Cacti green, unthirsy, uphill behind         & Barcelona, swollen before him.
Full with this citrus dry air, tourists mill about         with their deposition
of sweat-drained bodies,          & then pour down these slopes, down these
stairs,                        towards vendors ice-creaming tongues numb. Parents
unbottling water into           wash cloths wrung into infants’         faces also
sweating. An aluminum-cool                           diffuses from two performers
coaxing percussive melody from         steel Hang drums with their thumbs.
This damp air beneath        palms at the east main gate.