Hope Maxwell Snyder

Cante Flamenco

The bottom of my skirt opens and closes.
Waves of polka dots rise to my knees.
Silk ruffles turn to foam.

He kissed me on a summer night.
His mouth tasted not of garlic
or salt, but of wine and cinnamon.

I dream he takes my hand again
before we run up the hill to a church
that was once a mosque

and fly like kites at dawn to float
over the field where Federico died.
In men's hungry eyes: thoughts

clear as graffiti on church walls.
They want to touch my skin,
when what I long for is to dance only for him,

to twist and turn for him, arms lifted,
mantilla on the ground, chin up.
The day he left I buried my hunger

in a cave above Granada. If he returns,
my bed will freeze. The olive trees will burn.
The moon will comb her hair again.

I choose a blue dress now he's gone,
red shoes, and like a jaguar, crouch
on the edge of the map to wait for him.

* * *

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Hope Maxwell Snyder received an MA in Spanish Literature from George Washington University, a second MA in Latin American Literature from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in Spanish Medieval Literature from the University of Manchester in England.  Her poems  have appeared in Alehouse Press, The Comstock Review, The Gettysburg Review, International Poetry Review, OCHO, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and other journals.  She is the founder of Somondo Press and the founder and director of the Sotto Voce Poetry Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.                  


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