From the Motril Road

by Mireya Perez Bustillo


En medio del camino
they say Boabdil, the young Moorish
King of Granada
his soul darkened turned on the bridge
after he had turned over the keys
to the Alcázar and the Alhambra
on a silken pillow
to the conqueros Isabella and Ferdinand
that second of January in 1492
The Sun’s shadow in him
Boabdil turned turned
one last time
en medio del camino
to see the red splendor of Alhambra
the shimmer of Alcázar
Home to his ancestors for 700 years
a “paradise on earth” the sages said
where orange and jasmine scented patios and courts
where the sun and wind were freely admitted
and water, a visual and musical treat
trickled, bubbled, cascaded
in fountains, gardens and baths
to sparkle bodies and spirits
All turned over to the armored regents
their victory banners fluttering
their fighting horses reined in
their mounted minions waiting
All eyes on him, Boabdil on his black mount
rides slowly to the rocky prominence
before the bridge South
He turns for one last look
trembling, pressure rises in his chest
He turns for one last look
a sigh he can’t control spills
through quivering lips
Ay, Ay de mi Alhambra!


Mireya Perez Bustillo: Mireya’s poems invoke a powerful array of spirits. Her poetry appears in Caribbean Review, IRP Voices, Anthology of Colombian Women Poets, among others.