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Portugal visto por escritores estrangeiros

Written on a Rooftop in Lisboa

by Marisol Lee Benter


Swallows in the sky like diamonds
and I see in them, chasing tail against
a marbled sky,
lovers necking in the wind.
They scream at the sun
beating heat with velvet strokes
of brown peppered wings,
an omen for a blistering new day
in Lisboa
sun will return with a vengeance.
The birds are fortune tellers
and I bare myself beneath them,
palms raised to the blue of their bellies,
hoping they’ll read the deep pink creases
in my palms.
“They know everything”
said the beautiful brown man
in a yellow speedo the size of a wash cloth.
He cupped my face with his fleshy hands and said “gorgeous.”
A fingernail of light in the evening sky seduced us,
and I stole a piece of history to remind me.
The rough chalk bone of the square stone in my knuckles –
the buff of it, the salt on my tongue when I taste it.
A symbol of permanence in this pink and mint-green city.
I push these stones I collect deep into my pockets,
watching the gold calves of grandmothers shuffling
home with bulging sacks of cherries,
the red flesh wet and dripping down their soft wrinkled chins.
These women are sexy.
Fine muscles above thin ankles –
beauty in their ripe age.
I imagine them as young girls in strapless dresses,
spinning in circles with their faces to the clouds
watching swallows in the sky like diamonds.
                                                                                  by Marisol Lee Benter


Marisol Lee has a passion for words, travel, and typewriters. Her work has been featured in local publications and rejected from McSweeney's.  She writes poems on planes and drinks neat whiskey.
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