—Jarandilla de la Vera, Spain
The bramble was burning, and the way Mayte laughs,
blooming suddenly out of a giggle, it’s like a river maybe
rumbles the same, stemming from miles away. Always the
piper, she steps on bladders of fire in the village center,
playing spoons. She sings, the bramble was burning, the
bramble was burning. The Virgen makes her way to the church
—but the Virgen Mary wasn’t burning—follows the horsemen
and broom torches. Mayte stands in the doorway swatting
passersby with a lit broom, popping their legs like it was a
switch. Ashes die quickly, like the villagers’ wine bladders—
villagers so piss-happy drunk they play kitchen cutlery huddled
around barbecue pits in the ground. In the church, the pastor
asks for respect, and they all yell Live! Live! Live!
And then the crisis isn’t in our hands, it’s in our feet; we stomp
and make the frozen ground acknowledge.
This selection comes from Lee Anne Sittler’s book Extremadura, available now from Finishing Line Press. Purchase your copy here!
Lee Anne Sittler has lived in Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, Extremadura, and Madrid thus far; she can only guess where the next year will take her. She received her B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The University of Georgia, and she is currently finishing two Master’s degrees: an M.A. in English from Saint Louis University-Madrid Campus, and an M.A. in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from La Universidad de Alcalá. Lee Anne is proud that her poems have appeared in some of her favorite e-lit and print journals: Right Hand Pointing, Short, Fast, & Deadly, Spillway, Versal, Court Green, The Prose-Poetry Project, and Moniker Mad. Lee Anne’s mother, Leslie Ann Gaidjunas, passed away before this chapbook was published.
Melanie Jordan‘s chapbook, Ghost Season, is available from Ropewalk Press; her work has been published in the Iowa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Southeast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Southeast Review, and others. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before receiving her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her doctorate from the University of Houston. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature, and composition at the University of West Georgia. Her debut collection, Hallelujah for the Ghosties, was published by Sundress in 2015.
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