Play of the Duende

by Loren Kleinman
for Federico García Lorca


Whatever brings you here
is not real,
but indefinite and infinite space,
not with stars
or even blackness,

something else,
quiet and dying
at the edge of the road.

It’s a fish battling the hook,
or the sound of your heart
pushing an old wheelbarrow.

It might be that you are the hunter
walking through the forest,
crunching twigs
and peeled bark under your feet.

You’re on the hunt
for something unknown.
You want it.

You travel to another world
filled with volcanoes under the sea,
and bathe in the lava,
let it burn its initials on you,
sweat off the old skin,

the skin that keeps imprints
of all the places you lived,
the tables where you ate,
the glasses you held
in your hand

the empty space you’ve slept in,
the cave,
the corner of a bedroom
or the sky over the soaring planes,

the emptiness of the cold air,
wings passing by
at 500 miles per hour.

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