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Elegy: Green We Love You Green

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)

from RenditionsFind more by Reginald Gibbons at the library

Copyright © 2021 Reginald Gibbons
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Poems Reginald Gibbons

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