In time the evening darkened again, and I was released, and heard the gushing of the downspouts and the rattle of rain on fresh leaves. Now I'm thinking about ordinary things again. I'm thinking about the big pot of beans on the stove, and how nice it will be to remember that light as I eat the hot beans with some warm, buttered French bread. Because I remember that light I don't even mind that the sound of rain will drown out the song of the frogs tonight. Golden light and silver rain. I'll take that as a portent of good fortune. Said good fortune is probably those beans.
Time to eat.
Las Ruinas del Corazon
by Eric Gamalinda
Juana the Mad married the handsomest man in Spain
and that was the end of it, because when you marry a man
more beautiful than you, they said you pretty much lost control
of the situation. Did she ever listen? No. When he was away
annexing more kingdoms, she had horrible dreams
of him being cut and blown apart, or spread on the rack,
or sleeping with exotic women. She prayed to the twin guardians
of the Alhambra, Saint Ursula and Saint Susana, to send him home
and make him stay forever. And they answered her prayers
and killed Philip the Handsome at twenty-eight.
Juana the Mad was beside herself with grief, and she wrapped
his body in oil and lavender, and laid him out in a casket of lead,
and built a marble effigy of the young monarch in sleep,
and beside it her own dead figure, so he would never think
he was alone. And she kept his body beside her, and every day
for the next twenty years, as pungent potions filled the rooms,
she peeked into his coffin like a chef peeks into his pot,
and memories of his young body woke her adamant desire.
She wanted to possess him entirely, and since not even death
may oppose the queen, she found a way to merge death and life
by eating a piece of him, slowly, lovingly, until he was entirely
in her being. She cut a finger and chewed the fragrant skin,
then sliced a thick portion of his once ruddy cheeks. Then she ate
an ear, the side of a thigh, the solid muscles of his chest,
then lunged for an eye, a kidney, part of the large intestine.
Then she diced his penis and his pebble-like testicles
and washed everything down with sweet jerez.
Then she decided she was ready to die.
But before she did, she asked the poets to record these moments
in song, and the architects to carve the song in marble,
and the marble to be selected from the most secret veins
of the earth and placed where no man could see it,
because that is the nature of love, because one walks alone
through the ruins of the heart, because the young must sleep
with their eyes open, because the angles tremble
from so much beauty, because memory moves in orbits
of absence, because she holds her hands out in the rain,
and rain remembers nothing, not even how it became itself.