parade (Plaza De Armas, Arequipa, Peru)

March 6, 2010

There´s a parade in the square today:
Generals and a beauty queen. Soldiers
the colour of Atacama. They speak and
salute and a gunshot strews pigeons
to circle the air above the arches. A moment

later, as they puff and court
I watch an old woman feed the birds,
her smile opens seams of sunlight in the cracks
and the plaza glows white and golden.
I think the god of war must look like her.

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