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Dreaming in Spanish

by Philip Levine

With Juan Ramon I took the early train
out of the Atocha Station into the darkness
south toward Sevilla. Up late the night before,
we dozed past the fields of La Mancha
and missed the dawn breaking, the ditches
slowly overflowing with gray light, the day
arriving on time, no more remarkable than
any Tuesday in late October. When the train
lurched to a stop between empty stations
we could see in the distance four tiny men,
shotguns slung across their shoulders, returning
out of a wilderness of oaks with nothing.
“Look,” said Juan Ramon, his smile breaking,
his long dark face suddenly glowing with fever,
“a perfect poem someone has already ruined.”


Philip Levine’s next book, The Mercy, will be pubished by Alfred A. Knopf in April, 1999. (1999)


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