What Does Lorca Own?

A garden of tangerine eyes, a parade
of consonants streaming from the balcony,
a city under construction,  all the vowels
of history wrapped in a clean white hankie.

When he closes his eyes the Guardia Civil
knock at the door, the garden disappears,
and the pigeons remember a city of horses.

Lorca owns a room full of assonance placating
his pen with ohs and ahs. He begins to float,
and the room becomes a river, current and undertow.

When he closes his eyes he sees construction
workers, their hands full of hammers; Guardia Civil,
their belts full of sunlight; women in black shoes,

their arms full of vowels. Twenty-six boots cross
the plaza, worn-down heels bring him men
filled with bullets and lime. When he closes his eyes

he sees the stray dog approach his knee, the stray
dog sniff his crotch, the stray dog lick his face.
His fingers tighten around the pen.

Lorca owns the word Green.

When he closes his eyes, two skies
          turn chartreuse,
celadon enters like a waft of sunlight.

His favorite word, Gangrena.

(First Published in Hunger Mountain; First Place: Ruth Stone Prize in Poetry)