In Madrid – Jenny Cascino – Spain 2017


In Madrid,

the light respires millenary breaths upon terracotta facades

it dances carrying earth

paints a stable glaze of aspiration and crianza upon

the souls of passersby

who move along as if carried upon a hedonistic puff of cigarette smoke

by whose subtle and sultry perfection

I am transfixed.


In Madrid,

clouds and sky bequeath a staggering sense of contrast

upon those below who gaze with eyes upturned,

believing at long last to have identified God

which I call the buoyant and thick blue sky of summer on Fuencarral afternoons,

punctuated by a rebaño of flagrantly handsome clouds

and a deep sense of affection for the inferno

that fills the lungs of soñadores with heavy air and flighty caña desires.


In Madrid,

time renounces its claim on marking action

instead bodies and tongues under sky tell of hours

spent in motley companies of those acquainted with their humanity

and staunch defenders of it

                                    in Madrid,

the hum of peopled plazas, buses zooming with a predetermined certainty—

movement and language

align and make of the streets a glorious, dynamic rhythm—

languid and yet firm with passion

with the heart of something I grasp at fervidly in the hot summer air

warmly wine-stained Rioja reveries

a lucid haze hanging over richly embodied terraces

where dreamers and lovers alike assemble

to feel what gods must feel

to walk upon promised firmament.


In Madrid,

the Earth flows into the sky

and I begin to question the cardinal directions

which way to “up”

or “down,”

which way takes me back, so as to turn my back upon it,

which way forward into the heart of mystery

deeper into this languorous love

this sultry actuality of

aching and



In Madrid,

losing myself is a practice in beauty

one to which I surrender myself voluptuously.


In Madrid,

I pray in the curves of tanned backs

that, if but for a night,

help me understand what they do in the Sunday pews

of the cavernous iglesias strewn over this proud and rugged land.


In Madrid,

my heart breaks and then somehow finds its way

back together

among the metro stops,



San Bernardo,



stops       that trace a  new life vein

                                                                                                               to                                                                                                             and from

my heart

tattoo a new

   trajectory through

my soul’s atmosphere.



In Madrid,

I mourn in sunsets

spectacularly orange Debod paintings in a sky expiring

crying in labial light waves


rendering its last smile in that defiant menina way

before the calm, milky night supplants all that eyes

took in while the light played its savory notes upon the cityscape

—Spanish guitar in sunshine and urbanity.


In Madrid

I learn to love in concrete


People leave,

but the city, oh,

how gloriously it remains to me.

People let you down,

but this conjunto

of edifices elevates being.

People close themselves,

but Madrid

opens herself

        infinitely                  like a lotus


 too                               of infinite petals

                       to those who

Jenny Cascino – Fulbright to Spain 2017

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