Madrid

In summer deep in old Madrid
The city stoked in August heat
The fortuned folk, their farewell’s bid,
Escape to wild or cool retreat.
Now walking slow in saving shade
With countless stops along the way
The biding time ‘til daylight’s fade
And gay Madrid comes out to play.
Past where sublime Cervantes wrote
On madness versus high pursuit
On bridging expectation’s moat
And lancing lofty station’s snoot.
Then ambling by Retiro’s shore
Where joggers pass in sultry sweat
Those from Peru and Ecuador
Whose old world hopes have not been met.
And steady roll Atocha’s trains
The daily flow, the in and out
Commuters slide by bombed remains
Where reason’s foe removed all doubt.
Long gone the Inquisition’s sway
Of holy seal to acts obscene
Whose doctrine lives in Opus Dei
While skeptics fete a dead sardine.
Lavapies calls the world
To multi-cultured global beats
A tasty, mashed-up, magic swirl
On crowded, bustling Rastro streets.
The locals trip the tapa bars
And chat amidst jamon and beer
A leisured pace for scenes that are
The quintessential atmosphere.
Where Lorca strode and Hemingway
In bold, vain try to even score
To still the war hounds taunting bay
A practice run, uncivil war.
And here’s where Goya likes to hang
The mirrored view, the royal mark
The sponsored life, the sated pang
But now it’s late and Goya’s dark.
The failing dusk has lost its hue
Madrid nocturnal starts to stir
The rested streets come live anew
While task and toil become a blur.
I cruise the lively, obscure bars
Where I can love stroll lately free
De-nationalized save the scars
Alone again, reservedly.
The rent boys n their nightly sleuth
Along the bar or on the troll
The clients mask their fading youth
And flaunt their wealth and play the role.
I’m gazing at Latino guy
He sees and doesn’t look away
We know the end yet both are shy
I’ll be with him, he’ll take the pay.
For he has distant mouths to feed
And looks and gentleness to sell
So he makes out for basic need
While I have loneliness to quell.
I love Latino guy it seems
Though I have little to compare
A golden lad with simple dreams
Who only asks enough to share.
The time passed by at frantic pace
For love was not a jealous thought
We met some nights in soft embrace
To fill what empty years had wrought.
But restless once again was I
Though he was calm and quite content
We moved apart with no good why
The feelings strong yet strangely spent.
Though grand Madrid was with me still
I sighed and left its charms behind
Life holds us all against our will
The past and future intertwined.
Copyright: Paul Heno  June 2012
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