by Jake Maynard
When the stress pinches your shoulders like a piecrust. And when
computers collude against your shorttime. And when the fog on the
windshield won’t wipe away, and when even the hobos by the bridge
can see the dry-rot inside you—then you can take your money. Fly to
Spain. Walk the Alhambra gardens with an orange bud in your mouth.
Hear the marble lions purr; watch their fountains feeding the Cyprus and
Rose. You can take the old road to the campo and drink bum-wine under
an aqueduct, pitted like your father’s temples. And when night blooms
and the bread’s been eaten, when the dew returns earth’s dust, you
can walk the cobbled Roman road, wine-blushed in your airport sandals,
a drunken toe bloodied from a chip in the stone. You can touch them,
those stones scoured slowly back toward nature’s shape, still warm and
firm in their tucked places. They were set there by slaves.