Errata Literary Magazine

Bucks County Writers Workshop

Two Poems with a Spanish Theme

by Kurt Krumpholz

Una Taza De Cafe

The room is smooth and light
they have come here
out of the gentle rain
to drink
small cups of coffee
served tanned with milk
on saucers thick and white
with brunette packs of sugar
larger than the spoons

come here
to a room with crested pillars
and cusped arches
to drink their coffee
and the air
that pools like water
on stone fountains
cool amid the chalky dust

drink their coffee
in this azulejo-tiled retreat
where the incensed breeze
is sweet like marmalade
brought in off the street
from orange trees that will shadow
all their dreams

drink their coffee
at a table with a thin marble top
on wooden chairs of burnt umber
while the counterman waits
behind a polished brass rail
for the other tables to fill

drink their coffee slowly
to remember these minutes
that in time will swell
to fill up years
of thirst for this day

and the exact light and every sound
the specific smells of this time
that felt like it would never pass for them

published in the Spring 2000 issue of Icarus



driving back from Cadiz
the narrow road twists like a vein
through the undulating flesh
of the green lowlands
and the sun sets behind a hill
extinguishing its orange flame
in the waters
into which Columbus sailed

the road is empty
except for a pair of headlights
like the pale moon rising in a faltering sky

at a cross road I stop
and pull off onto a rocky unpaved drive
to relieve myself
in the silence of obscurity
where we stand
our heads tipped back
beneath a sky with no horizon
full of stars pulled like a veil
across an obsidian globe
quivering in the stillness
like Chinese lanterns in the breeze

and all around the unspeakable emptiness;
a lone dog howling from behind a fence
and the sound of a car
shooting past anonymously
like a train slipping through the night

Bucks County Writers Workshop