Lisboa, Lisboa

by Barbara Varanka

Lisboa, Lisboa

…………..has arms that reach for you.
……………..What is left of its lemon-stand
………………………..girl? Deep like a spoon you dig
…………………………………………….for the city’s last breath.

Like Caravaggio’s Judith,
……………………you are the bright gash and the sword,
…………………………………………………….the wine and fig
………………………………………………………………………….divided.

……………………Dark bride of the desperate
………………………………rasp, you are the fat dripped
…………………………………………from a wrung accordion, a street
………………………………………………………………song drunk and stumbling,
……………………………………………………………………….a hundred ribcages humming,

…………………………………………………………………………………….a belly full of
…………………………………………………………………………………….sofrimento

(To Amalia Rodrigues and her Portuguese guitar)

Barbara Varanka is a student in the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She likes to listen to Portuguese fado music at full blast with the windows open.