Born in Spain, Alicia Viguer-Espert was raised with the culture, traditions and love of and for the Mediterranean people. For her old and new experiences combine in the never-ending lesson of living, opening new avenues for hope and understanding in her poetry. Her work has been published in national and international presses and she has been the featured poet at numerous venues. Winner of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Contest with “Holding a Hummingbird,” her second chapbook “Out of the Blue Womb of the Sea,” was published by Four Feathers Press. She’s a Pushcart nominee.
It took the ages of my great great-grandparents
for them to reach their twisted girth.
torridity presses them down into sand,
holds their growth in check.
Today, sea murmurs embrace shivers from raindrops,
surprised bathers run to cover sun-screened bodies.
Soon the sun reappears roasting
the chestnut hair of adolescents,
children’s laughter pushes open the door of summer.
Everyone is invited into this wall-less abode,
little girls play princesses, ruling from sand-castles,
youngsters dance to the sound of wind and love songs,
older women seek the shade of trees,
wave their fans under umbrellas of pines.
Heat has tired the birds,
which remain silent
until evening takes its lizard-lazy place,
their trills join the sound of kisses.
Unlike the old trees,
the life of the bright photons,
which orchestrated the party,
By dusk millions weaken,
their sparks no longer blind us,
their soft light melts the shores of our hearts.
As the night invades the beach
a few remaining photons drag themselves West.
Facing the inscrutable altar of the sea
praying for the return of the god
to grant them resurrection.
Out of the dark, my mother steps under a pale half moon
holding a colorful towel,
tells us it’s time to return home,
our other home.
Near Hagia Sophia,
on a veranda perfumed by honeysuckle,
we sat down for Karmiyarik and kebabs.
The young man, a napkin on his arm, walked
on our direction, a smile within his lips,
a burning bush of dark hair combed
to one side shone in the midday light,
a status symbol in his shirt’s pocket
for all to see, a smart phone.
I was born in Istanbul, he said,
when I asked if he was integrated,
considered an equal Turkish citizen,
or a lower cast, or even a foreigner.
His reddening cheeks exhaled,
his eyes glanced left and right
where a crow pecked on a lame pigeon.
What would you like to drink?
he questioned turning his head away.
How do you say good morning in Kurdish?
I whispered noticing his discomfort,
attempted to document words, sounds,
write them down as any linguist would.
In a cloud of summer heat his coworker run
to our table, In Istanbul we’re all the same,
Muslims, though we don’t speak Arabic,
he informed us, closed fists hitting the table.
For Kurds gardens had neither pollen,
gleaming roses, nor fresh running water,
his three sisters couldn’t leave the village,
awaited, not for tenderness, but just 365
days of supernatural survival, anxiety.
But being from a mountainous province
he relished the impossible shades of blue
of the Bosphoros, its warmer nights.
Suspended longer than intended, the sun bent
to listen before a change in the guard arrived.
Another waiter served our desserts stating,
He’s in his lunch break now.
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Poetry in this post: © Alicia Viguer-Espert
Published with the permission of Alicia Viguer-Espert