The Spanish Revelation

18 June 2017

Your education came too early, before you had seen an alcazaba
Before you learned about the journey of pomegranates.
You didn’t know how to create paradise in a white city
Or the sudden turns these strongholds would have to make
Not to admit your enemies into a garden of oranges
Where the women sit, not quite prisoners,
Gazing through lattices at the bareheaded hills of Spain.

You didn’t understand the way God moved through history
Northward with the hacking sword
Revealed through a tribal touch for flowers.
You couldn’t allow exactitude and softness to make love
And birth a Caliphate, azure and unflinching
Arches holding up the heart like an eternal Córdoba.
You knew nothing of the interior architecture of your own first name.

In the dark night you smuggled your selves
Out of Tehran, legally or illegally.
Black crows strode down the streets in pairs
Tented, your own small gender, with mystery under the skirt.
On the plane you tugged at your mother’s headscarf:
You don’t need to wear that anymore.
You carry the girlchild’s instinct, you spit in the face of the caul.

Then you found Andalusia and through the hand glimpsed
The divine romance worn by wind and the human palimpsest,
The taste man has for vanquishing himself.
Under the lights of another Roman theatre, lit below the fort
Loyalty grew in mathematics, worship in the stone.
What was past carved itself a resting-place where you could briefly see
Further than a veil, into Revelation, exhaling with the fall.

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