The Words of Strangers

A Spanish dancer
leans low across a candle lit table
and breaks an eggshell
filled with glitter and perfume
over the head of her novio.

Laughing, she
whispers to him
tonight…or…not tonight…
as the guitar spreads
a vermillion river
of love before them.

So too it is with the words of strangers.
The musky poems of Neruda
and the brooding poems of Antonio Machado
break over me, drowning my senses.

They are alive like the sea at night,
like hungry ravens
or like the wild Kiger mustangs
on the rim rocks
above the Warm Springs reservation–

those horses descended
from the mounts of the conquistadors
that look at you in disdain
as though they might
take a Picasso in
as one of their own,
but you must go now.

5 responses to “The Words of Strangers

  1. That’s splendid, Burl: gloriously atmospheric! I find myself wondering what exactly gave rise to this poem. (But I don’t look for an answer).


  2. Such strong images, so photographic…but I love the final stanza where it moves from picturing into a wonderfully strange statement about strangeness.


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