To the north in the Fundão are the true minds of Portugal,
the ones who live without the stink of cabbage drains and catacombs
of the cattle crush on all the blaring roads
of hyphenated walks on cobblestones
of sardines in stilettos climbing stairs floor after floor
to arrive in a closet called home out of the reach of soil and leaf.
Europe on its kapok bed
Europe the bitch with the open legs
Breathing in (as if its forever)
breathing out (all the earth gasps)
always the sulphur steaming from the pores of her poxy face.
Europe pimpled with churches
Europe lifting her skirts
Now the interred are gone to dust
their blood and bone mingle in the fields
and raft the rivers.
their ashes are the rain on verdant Polish ground.
All the land is fecund, all the fruit is sweet
basted by temperate summers,
the taste is deep with age
and this taste is always on the tongue
or fluttering fragrant kisses on the brows of children
whose faces are the profiles on old coins
turning up on beaches in the New World
it hovers on the brows of mothers
rutted with weeping
hard with desire.
There is no beauty here,
here there is simply an anger
such as that which takes a sickle to a throat
or bonfires books and people in the streets
or dives into the lakes of wine
or drifts in curlicues of hash and grass
(another continental analgesic)
or cracks the skulls of old men.
the old men are selling their fruit
and the fruit falls far from the trees
and the trees poke fingers down down down deep in the soil
and the soil is in the blood and the blood is in the fields of history
and the history floats on the turgid waters of the falling
and the fallen were the young men with the seed
and the seed was the people in the streets
or the ones shot in the forests of Verdun
or fucked to death in Mostar
or hung in prisons or on gibbets
in this or that village on this or that day for something… for something
that wrinkles the yellowing pages
and clearly states:
Eye for Eye and Slash for Slash.
We are all leveled by it;
by the blood,
by the smell of it
brought down by the gas
broken in the bone
blind in one eye
split by dissent and opinion
reduced to a comma
ticked in the box
reduced to a dot
we are molecules and neutrons
we are the fine wine of a shitty god pissed out on a land
that is never really ours
but it is theirs and we must have it
we must have the fields of rock
with the skin of dust white brown and black
that now blows over the face of her
in the hair of her
in the eyes and ears of her
in the bronchi of all the returning children
who ever breathed in the reek of the drains of Europe.
Europe picking at hospital sheets
Europe shooting up under a bridge
There are remnants here in Portugal;
two witnesses in the last olive grove
two trees of men who cannot bear fruit
one has a madness and bites his hands late into the night
the other curls, a trembling mote, on his bed
waiting for a halt in hostilities.
Europe winks: a promise of pleasure
Europe: the eye with a black meniscus.