We step outside of time for just three days
and make this place our own: get coffee
every morning at the same café, where
ageing waiters all wear neat blue waistcoats.
This city’s pomegranate-like, they say:
bursting at the seams with juicy seeds
of things to come, of things that might have been.
We walk around the town in midday heat
and everything slows down: we’re living at the speed
of unripe fruit on orange trees and buskers in the streets.
Lost in Sacromonte, we give up and watch
the whole world pass us by, the palace
on its lonely hill a solid compass point.
As night falls, we get brave and mess around:
go rambling through the undergrowth
in the belly of the town, eat tapas in
our favourite bar as the Spanish sun goes down.
We join processions through the streets
where children chant and incense swings;
get punch-drunk on the smell of it,
turn sleepy listening to the man who sings
each night, alone, in the courtyard by our house.
I say that like it’s ours; of course it’s not –
nothing here really belongs to us.
The next day when the sun grows restless, hot,
we pack our bags and leave for a new place.
Time speeds up once more; how quickly we forget
the peerless lustre of these Andalusian days.
Hannah Patient is a third-year English student at Somerville College, Oxford, and the former Essex Young Poet of the Year. Her work has appeared in publications including ASH, The Oxford Review of Books, Blacklist Journal and The Purple Breakfast Review. In her spare time she enjoys exploring crumbling buildings, watching detective dramas and eating chips with mayonnaise.