One morning,
when I opened the window
the sun spilled on my Persian rug
like a huge cup of Turkish coffee,
bittersweet hot;
yet, retaining all burned grounds
for itself.


Had I been a Gypsy fortuneteller,
I could have read the signs in every spot  I saw,
or I'd have called the news reporters
and, why not, I could have started
a healing business;
but I lack the marketing vocation.


Had I had children of my own,
I would have placed the rug in their room

 to watch delighted how they crawl

and tumble and sit down on it

 with picture books,

 smeared top to toe by the caressing light;
but I have not been blessed with children.

What I did
was to slide the window,
and draw the curtains shut -
dazzle to my sight
there was this arabesque
sanguineous spill
in the  velours grenat;
I kneeled on it and closed my eyes;
one after another,

came back to me in wreaths,
like the bluish smoke from a nargileh,
like the aroma of dark roast Arabica,
like the sweet fragrance of blooming
orange groves,
and I heard the lament of lutes
and wailing muwassahas
composed by Yehuda Halevi

in times of peace and splendor

of Andalus.


"Open your eyes and watch me  acting as your voice"

 urged our Representative in Congress.
I did try for a while,
then I knew
I couldn't open wide my eyes again,
because my sight was sore,
very, very tired and old,
maybe as old as Sepharad;
I left my specs either in Baghdad,
or in the Patio de los Leones,
and nobody, not even I  could tell
the entrance or the exit of my hell -
this beautiful enchanted Alcazar

in which I will be groping
to my eternity.



Elena Malec, California ,1997