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  • I saw you there
    below the bridge
    the arches echoing with murmurs,
    fragments of lost conversations,
    long ago hellos.
    the water, dark and shadow stained, between us,

    In the street above
    foot steps hurried over cobblestones
    close then fading
    headed toward the warmth of brazier flames
    bright beneath café awnings.

    Carmen and las cigarreras crossed here,
    bright skirts and laughing,
    fingers stained with the leaf they rolled,
    on their way home from the Royal Tobacco Factory
    to the barrio beyond.

    I heard a song in the wind
    and, for a moment, time blurred
    I thought I saw a top hat raise,
    the swirl of a full skirt among the early winter crowd
    but when I looked again
    a girl carrying a skateboard waited, hands on hip
    torn shorts over stockings
    wind whipped hair like a wild halo,
    a couple, heads down, shoulders hunched,
    a boy popped a wheelie
    all of them silhouetted and for a moment framed.

    I turned back but you were gone,
    only the light remained,
    glittering strands of green and gold among the ripples.
    While above us all the night,
    held aloft by the city’s spires, billowed
    like a curtain
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