Categories
poetry

Dictators Kill Poets

Federico García Lorca

They sat me down in the highest chair,
as a child, maybe my ‘small’,
made everything taller, but this
felt larger than life itself
with the air, a polished weight,
time and time until smooth
with a lingering history, austere
and I, new king on their throne

Which is later, how I dreamt
, while trying to make some sense
without a crown, perhaps
a lowly pretender, kings,
surely aren’t layered,
question on question?
Why were you there?
What did you see?
What was he doing?
Are you sure that’s what you saw?
until you, even you aren’t sure no more…

Even when I said
I didn’t see that much,
just a man in green, dull
like that, a uniform and he,
was just standing around,
near on the ground, a boy
and the boy was shouting,
seemed angry, in a rage,
yet the uniform, still, pointing
as if calming him down,
on the ground who was moving
an echo, stunned, and then
he wasn’t…

…and I knew I should run, far away,
I wanted to run, never stopping,
escape the noise, still ringing,
underneath my fingers, in a fist
clenching, but, for none,
no clear reason, even now,
just slowly crawled towards,
and as I looked, I realised,
he was my brother, sir…

What did I mean?

I couldn’t answer then, not until
years, on years had passed
those crusty suits, grey hair,
long overgrown,
by layers of dust in my mind,
no idea why, I said
what I said at the time
I knew less about nothing, then,
especially the kid, now cold
born to privilege, too stupid
to stay quiet when told

But maybe, it was the way
he held my hand tight, saying,
‘look after Bel’, his dying wish
the girl lying besides, and she,
always so pretty in a white dress
or would have been if alive, Isabel,
the one of us, so far to go, our peach,
who was always kind

Then nothing, his eyes died,
and mine went black,
that’s when, the child was lost
and even your kiss,
tastes bitter, sour and strange

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