In Barcelona, We Fight Lines by Rita Anderson

In Barcelona, We Fight Lines

the perils of relying on

a tourist economy, eager

travelers all with the latest copy of

Things To Do & See Here

Hiking up our skirts

we clamber around 

and above

Sagrada Familia

and Park Guelle,

the main attractions

of Gaudi’s lifeworks

in this sea city that smells

of fish in a red sauce 

and stale beer, the sun

baking us all into the pavement

like shadows on a cyanotype:

You treat the paper

in such a way

with chemicals

that it becomes light

sensitive, catching

the outlines of objects

which burn and turn blue 

as if etched in sun shadow.

On the last, impossible hill,

the breath short in our chests,

we are surprised

but oh so relieved that

they do not observe

siesta here and

we take a break 

for Una cerveza, por favor, 

and to unload our feelings

about your latest love

affair: Am I moving

too fast, do you think? 

Passion, first and foremost,

your mother tongue,

the language in your head.


Rita Anderson was Poetry Editor of the literary journal at University of New Orleans, and both of her poetry books: The Entropy of Rocketman (Finishing Line Press) and Watched Pots (A Lovesong to Motherhood) have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has won the Houston Poetry Festival, the Gerreighty Prize, the Robert F. Gibbons Poetry Award, the Cheyney Award, and an award from the Academy of American Poets. Contact Rita at her website

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