In a country of dark-eyed men
his eyes were anomaly—
Cloudy blue like stones dredged
from the river’s shallow depths,
myth of a town somewhere in Spain
that gave him his middle name.
He was stern as a citadel
or a fortress on a hill,
then disarming as the old-
world charm of a soft wax seal.
Childless forty years before she
came along, broken open he curated
every simple line drawing,
doted on her childish scrawl.
Her declamations and arpeggios
were dedicated to him, paragon
of perfection, industrious at
virtue. Even now, at the whiff
of Old Spice or English Leather,
she straightens her spine, checks
the angle of the ruler; lays
the curve of letters on paper
before carefully blotting
the fountain pen’s tip.