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Poem: Seville Sequences

By Sophia Naz 

1 llamada 

What is this light?
as a feather upon my lips

Luz, light that melts
history’s lozenge
upon my tongue

2 A Golpe  

Ready to assume
the witness bearing pose,
I came to you

Seville, you silenced
my hand with your
cheek, humid
rukhsar turning me
back to amnion, a rumpled


Climbing to Sacromonte
looking for the lime plaster dust
of flamenco, I found instead
my nest-of-kin, a thousand
Anarkali’s blossoming from the glass of interred frames

Seville, concealed
between Al-Andalus & Andalucia
your pungent conjuring zeal
a hissing mason sweat & stew
of mudejar & morisco still lives

toiling in hellish July, all
to wrap the lisp of long legged letters
into wordless prayers that  rise
and fall from porous
tongues of stone

but now I wonder, Seville, with
your curled talons of welded steel
dark-spark piercing
the heart of light; was it her, Alba Perdita

who became your helpless beloved?

carving you
with her very own trembling?

4 Rasgueado

Leaping ravenously
from gargoyled eaves
your feline slinking totemic,

nocturnal octopi of alleyways
inked at the edge of knowledge
whiskers whisper

tickle my ear
you play me Seville, like a spell-wound toy

5 Romeras

Devil, Seville, at each corner flaunting
another street lamp Minotaur

another dangling rakish-angle
ruffle-skirted stiff whipped nun confection marzipan born
of starvation’s bitter cross

in my face, my poor tourist crust
eating your centuries’ concentrate
yet tasting my own
singular doom. How you taunt

haunt me with lost yet pulsing
histories,  pulpo gallego, Tantalus of tentacled arc
tangled with freshly laundered air, where
I too, am some of sum, hum hung in the tapestry of your trapeze,
open-ended ease, balanceo 

                                                y vaivén

                                   you swing, Seville

                                         suddenly reveal, with a staccato tap

your horizon’s  fan, unfurled
where tireless tribes of tablaos clap
callused hands & feet like hoofbeats, slap-galloping
horses of their thighs

in your wheel,
Seville, time is nothing
but a moon-faced clock

 even your crowds are castanets cantering
down the steps

everywhere, is the dance, the dance
is everywhere

6 Braceo

Solemn synonyms, your balconies conceal
cards held close to crop
afternoon’s hard shot glass

but at the onset of that orujo  known as evening
the jute eyelids disappear, spear
the new slivered sky, swordfish swum in blue-mirrored window
& underneath, always, the triumphal palm
become somber emblem, withering
as a crucified Issa, until next year’s Santa Semana

& beneath all,
the convoluted under bellies of eight hundred egg white & lapis years

Jubilant Seville
whose Thursdays are thirst days
holy relics consecrated with wine and thine
& clapping apparitions masquerading as furniture restorers
& certain old men & certain young men
& iconic barbers. How is it possible?
the dare of your elderly Alcazar
who does not collapse
under jasmine’s young
& head strong weight?

7 Peteneras

Seville, behind your heavy, metal-nippled doors
dour balding patriarchs reluctantly bestow
spidery lace on brides and widows
from their high perches mantillas,
mantones regalos pout, flash plumage
of gold and cream barely cupped
in the iris of a dream

and in certain obscure recessed
arm-lengthenings of evening shadow taparias
are grown men who have labored
in decades long solitude
over the meaning of a fig, the precise
nose of a rioja

8 Fandango

faraway yet near there are
newborn rooms
where papier mache bulls
snort, sport newspaper, suspend reality, proclaim
y bella y bestia
as if  every pedestrian was
a toreador

9 Melisma

on certain uncertain bone
chipped plastic tables lies a lone
blood red paper shell
crushed, consummated empty as a siesta
Senor Tabac mourns his warning: el muerte lente
y dolorosa… O, to die

in the arms of such a language

10 Siguiriyas

Seville, you will
be you, but I drank
& now, Mnemosyne,

I Salud, drown
in your drams, of delicate
& curlicued gloom, faded
yet blinding
bloom,  rose in the mile-stone

teeth of Guadalquivir

2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Sophia Naz is a poet, writer, translator, and editor published in numerous literary journals. Her poetry collections are Peripheries, Pointillism & Date Palms. Naz is Poetry Editor at The Sunflower Collective and City: A Quarterly of South Asian Literature. Her website is


For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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