Verde que te quiero verde even when
dying can be, can yet become, a green
plenitude—the jade the pine the fern the mint.
We can breathe the green breath of your lines, green shade
may somehow fade bereavement away, while in
your words live the sixty shades of green that words
can see, words that bleed green, words that your pen-nib
dance-drags in green dust under the olive trees,
as you throw song-notes at their silver-green leaves
and end your stanzas with green razor blades—
your verde so clack-heeled, your swarms of midnight
palmas clapped with such exuberance of green
anguish and joy, your vowels so green in guitar-
light rasgueados—in leaf-thrashing wind-lashed
frenzy, frenesí, to hear again that your
voice cannot not matter . . . ¿No ves la herida
que tengo—he imagines a knife-wound from
his chest to his throat—desde el pecho a la
garganta? Now he stands one finite instant
from the bullets, with his betrayed companion—
a teacher, also to be murdered—and two
more. Now the uncanny presence of the scent
of basil and the word’s green sound: albahaca
(al-habáqah) . . . We so need a billion dawn
hours—albas—of love. But I’m no longer I
pero yo ya no soy yo nor is this house
any longer my house ni mi casa es
ya mi casa. We so want him to have lived.
His house, his piano—unbetrayed, not deceived . . .
But he was nilled and annulled so long ago.
Verde que te quiero verde we still chant
in la nada que no y la nada que sí.
–for Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (1898-1936)
Copyright © 2021 Reginald Gibbons
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.