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48 THE MINNESOTA REVIEW ANTONY OLDKNOW SPANISH LADIES I do not love these Spanish ladies, I do not love their fans, The shawls around their necks, Their long sharp noses, nor their piercing Black eyes. I imagine they smell of garlic, I imagine they have crumbs of dirt between their toes And love the bull ring, I imagine them putting a ring through my nose And towing me by a rope Around and around in the sawdust under the stars. Each Spanish lady with her castanets Takes off her dress at night and reveals Denims and a belt of bullets And a carbine strapped around her shoulders; She wears a gold crucifix And genuflects before she fires. The gaudy colors of the Spanish lady's dress Are static and asleep And prim for all their blaze, The flowers are like the dead eyes Stopped still with the spark glazed Of the stretched man in the cave Tortured for the sake of Christ. These are the ladies of Spain, the ladies carrying Baskets of onions on their turbaned heads Turning down a sand track with a donkey As night comes and campfires In the mountains glow above the sea. OLDKNOW 49 These are Franco's ladies, Lenin's ladies, Christ's ladies, The bull's ladies. As they stir forth they go To the circle of waving tapers And tangerine flares To dance on sawdust in a ring That smells of blood. Like maddened lions, Like snakes striking, The ladies of Spain hiss and spit As they whirl their colors frenzied Amid the knives of men's eyes. ...


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