Map

Map  

 

Sky up through the narrow streets.

Old men in berets and suits leaning on sticks

talking outside Casa das Crechas

where copper coins glint between the stones

around an Elizabethan map of Ireland.

Dark, bearded young men,

cheek wisps above the beard line.

Strong, galego-speaking women

with Al-Andalus eyes, smoking Ducados.

One of them turns: West Clare

in her cheekbones. Her hazel eyes, to me,

have the intensity of someone young

in an old photograph—taken in Quilty,

a summer day—through a long exposure.