Lorca's Dawn
by Devreaux Baker
Devreaux Baker

Devreaux Baker is the recipient of The Helene Wurlitzer Poetry Fellowship, a MacDowell Writing Fellowship, the Hawthornden Castle International Poetry Fellowship, and three California Arts Council Awards. Her book of poems, Beyond the Circumstance of Sight, was published by Wild Ocean Press, San Francisco, in 2009.

I don't know why Lorca came to visit me.

Perhaps because I was too tired to get out of bed,
open the windows, or invite the outside world in.

He came through the adobe walls
as though they were air,
to pull up a chair by my dreaming body.

He was urging me to go with him,
into his broad avenues of light.

While I was happy to stay in bed,
hung up on red mesas
and the God in Holy dirt.

He offered white linen afternoons,
the forgiving nature of the fabric.

I countered with California poppies,
the shyness of orange petals.

He whispered that cigars were hard to find
in that other world.

I shared the pepper taste of nasturtiums
when the flower explodes against my tongue.

He pointed to the loneliness of light
trapped in the features of stars

Morning banged against the door, anxious
To knit her shape back into his side,
light wanting to create dawn with his body.

Lorca said this was the nature of light,
she can never decide what she wants

Sometimes she acts as old as a grandmother,
Stays on the brow, and sometimes she brings the olive tree to life,
Climbing in all the branches, as eager as a child.

He said it was really the broad face of Minerva,
Waiting just outside. This was the juncture where his past
surfaced in my arms, so I was embracing empty rooms of moon
and water, yellow plains with footprints of smoke.

In the distance, the sound of gunfire he turned to,
claimed it as his own, rose to go,
gathering his light in pleats and folds.

While from the street outside,
sirens signaled birth or death,

the tail end of night
lit by Lorca's dawn.

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