Lake Effect, Spring 2016, Volume 20: "The Guadalquivir in August"

The Guadalquivir in August

by Jeffrey Alfier


For now, this river grows only silence:
embankment walls beveled
with first light, stone stairs that dip
to its smoke-green glissando.

The sun begins its hard lock on the streets.
By noon, every doorway will be threshed
by heat.

On Isabell’s bridge, someone still sings
last night’s ballads. I want to join
in, but a raw tongue and dry throat
have stolen the words I need.

The river conducts its first traffic.
Crows appear unsummoned
like blown cinders. I watch
the bridge, the errant singer
now gone.