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Wreaths to the Temple

by Nadya Aisenberg

how suddenly
you feel like bringing wreaths to the temple,

a circlet of gold leaves, tremblant,
but thick as the laurels

Alexander wore.
Or how the eucalyptus
is still fragrant after a year inside.

I am frightened as we cling,
too old to disbelieve atrocity.
From the Long Walls we saw Andromache
dragged from bed into the burning streets.
It is never incredible:
Federico García Lorca
flung in a grave
with two thousands others,
face up, face down,
in an olive grove outside the city limits.

But, oh, we have conquered
a beautiful kingdom.
Figs and grapes ripen
over the Villa Malcontenta.


Nadya Aisenberg is a founding editor of Rowan Tree Press and has published two books of poetry and a critical study of crime fiction. (1982)

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