Sujata Bhatt

Conil de la Frontera, June 2012

for Pearse Hutchinson

Nights the jasmine awakens -
whiter than milk,
the jasmine opens its eyes.
Nights the jasmine reaches out to the sky,
the stars - Yes, even the stars
can sense it - this fragrant, fragrant white -

Every night, a sprig of jasmine
in our hands, we walk the streets of Conil -

Now I call the Atlantic ‘mine’.
Here’s our Atlantic, I say,
as if an ocean could be our country.
Days and nights we live by the Atlantic
as if we have come home at last.

These days I imagine you here. Pearse -
how you would sit in the shade
by the rubber tree and the red hibiscus,
how you would call out to the children,
    the little ones who play
             on the bunker built by Franco’s men -
And I would tell you how everywhere I look
         I see Lorca’s eyes -

These days I imagine you here, Pearse -
how every evening    
       like the old fishermen
you too would raise your hat
to the reddening sky,
to the last visible sliver of sun.