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10 the minnesota review Claudia Buckholts A Medieval Story Around the castle the moat dries up, only the flowers of thistles bloom along these hedges. No longer do scythes whir through the air, no one cuts grain, or binds it into sheaves. Barley grows wild among the weeds. The master goes on his crusade, that adventurer, getting rich in Jerusalem while the world behind falls into ruin. Rats run about in his castle, his wife composes a song for the spiders, for a little bat who flies in. Twisting and untwisting the skeins of her hair, she gnaws at her knuckles and screams when the dead gather round her in a white ring, speechless because they come from another world where everything has already been said. Once she sat at the high table in the great hall, now she sits on the rush-strewn floor, barefoot, dressed like all servants in the roughest wool, throwing bones to the dogs who never rise from their place at her feet but go on waiting, as faithful as God. Managua In Managua we spend our days in the white garden, under the shadow of stucco houses. Buckholts 11 The cathedral blows up, leaving the shagged roof open to the stars. Ripe grapefruits fall from the trees, pierced with shrapnel. An embittered adventurer wanders in, whistling the Marine hymn, between his teeth. The mountains rise like serrated swords in the distance, cutting off the road home. The day expires in a black fandango of darkness, the heirs of the country are taking it over at last. They bear the dead statue of the white Christ to its burial ground. The warships wait at anchor off the shore, just out of range. The minister of culture reshapes the alphabet into soup. We drink the coffee of Masaya, grown under the volcano. The birds float in air, descending, the eagles feather. Riders in the outfield when the dawn of bliss was near. From the bullet holes on the cathedral face, circular waves spread out forming the planets and their new orbits around the empty sun. 12 the minnesota review In Managua, thorn trees and cactus and lemon-colored flower wave in the sea wind and the rulers come and go. ...


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