Two poems by Gary Maggio

Church in Aravaca

I stood outside;
a narrow street was swallowed in its shadows;
I watched a boy with many bags
seated on hard earthen steps
behind the rectory.

A sullen man stood
beneath a late-flowering tree
overgrowing the churchyard
against the fence, smoking.

In a tobaca I slowly ordered
postcards of the church
and a beligraphica.

Hoping for some stamps,
I was given a choice
of cigarette lighters from a
cardboard box.

I sat, on the park
bench, a pew beneath
the spires, church swords clenched
with sunlight;
the tobacconist washed
the stones around my feet;
I wrote home,

A sad boy with many bags waited
for the rectory doors to open.
A man, angry and thin, dark,
in flowering trees, the street of Aravaca, the closed Church,
he smoked away, the shadowy morning

Torremolinos Parade

Young men on horses
shuffle into line behind carts
shackled to oxen
whose tails chasing heat-flies
sway with the aunts and girl-cousins
dabbing their lacquered hair
and their glacé faces
who move as if to dance
dismissing with their fans
townsmen who whistle and leer
while the pounding parade begins
on a year’s worth of dust
drums on each moaning cart-bed
played by wild boys
suckling flagons of wine
or tangoing with their abuelas
kitchen slaves and fishwives
riding the tide up the callalateral
behind the wooden Mary
tottering on her cart
diamonds in her tiara
sapphires on her brown pocked brow
while a blue-dressed little virgin
waiting her turn swirls her black fan
coquetting with a rise of crinoline
the dark mustachioed uncles
whose white-brimmed hats shine up
off her new patent leather shoes

About the author

Born in Brooklyn, Gary Maggio has resided and written in Albany, NY for thirty-five years. He spends his days as a standardized patient, acting…

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Issue 20 · May 2014

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