On a boulevard in Barcelona
my watch began its backward crawl
as Lani counted down the buildings
by Gaudí and whistled the same song

she’d been whistling since a morning
in Córdoba, when it leaked from a pair
of headphones a girl had left near a plate of pears,
all of us sharing plans to visit Toledo

on our way back, though all we knew of morning
and each other we learned and forgot in that simple crawl
through breakfast in a courtyard, a song
beginning its slow construction in Lani’s mind, a building

of music as lovely and eternal as any building
by Gaudí, the way the memory of music can pare
away the sallow air once soaked with song,
with orange trees and sweat, how everywhere in Seville

diesel smoke hung like gray streamers above the crawl
of traffic each evening, how even morning
was a sepia fog, a breath exhaled from the last morning
dream before waking, before the daily building

back of confidence and faith revived the crawl
of hope—even Lani in her brand-new pair
of silver sandals believed that Lorca left Granada
to spare the city, not himself: once every song

was dusted over and done, once every song
hardened like a bullet in a cast of mourning,
little metal murmurs, once Lorca stopped dreaming of Málaga
and the sea and simply swallowed another fist in a building

bruised blue by evening, his face as soft as a pear
left for no one on a sill, ants crawling
up the wall in a line, certain of sugar and crawling
and a little mound of sand; once all the songs

and their memories stopped and a last pair
of moths exploded in the light of morning …
Lani finished counting the strange buildings
and began to plan. “A thousand miles to Madrid,”

she said, her finger crawling the map as she sang
the same song. “But let’s forget Madrid.” The buildings
fell away, a pair of cows in a field. “It’s even farther to Bilbao.”