Fragments of gold leaf By Alex Clendenning Jiménez

Fragments of gold leaf

To Federico García Lorca

You will breathe in his heavy lilt,
inhale his speckled q’s and misshapen
i’s, hold the way he would speak to you
tightly by the reins, thoughts clouded
by paint fumes under a red, summer sky.

Your body will be his next canvas:
melted clocks and revolutionary
flags sunken into the crevices
of your stardust-stained skin.

Y’s turned into notorious i’s,
his grammar is horrible,
and how you wish to laugh
feed him orange halves
because he must be yours.

Kiss him in his childhood bedroom,
his sister sleeping in the next room
and all you can think is oh god oh god
oh god this is wrong,

and you’re twenty-six and he’s
twenty and this is wrong.
and your thoughts race like
the beat beat beat of a hummingbird,

Hummingbird wings fluttering
under the wide all-seeing moon.

Gold flecks from his sneering lips
sizzle onto your bronze skin
you were never as pure as him.
and you hear him spit: god
will make you pay for this,

to you, of course, he
is always god and not
the one you were taught
to praise in school.

And so you worship him for years,
every single work is for him,
he never writes back, so you do it
yourself, hands drowning in black

and blue ink, hold the stamps too close
to your chest, too scared that this is just
another letter into this abysmal
cycle of past love.

Die for him under scorched skies
and watery earth, donned in your blood-
stained white suit, with your brittle, broken legs,
tibia and femur fractured, poking through the tattered

fabric of your pants, holes large enough for
the bullets to pinch your skin like the way
his fingers would sink delicately
into the softness of your back.

Dry grass caressing your splintered
mouth as death greets you in her best suit,
her smoky eyes remind you of the gas lit
lamps of your childhood, and when she smiles

you know she wishes to cry tears
of silver and bronze in hope of melting
the bullet holes because she murmurs: you
don’t deserve to die, not like this, not here.

But you’ve known this for years
think of 1929 in a cramped
harlem apartment, death
feeding on the remnants

of your thoughts, smog
creeping into the corners
of your mind, paper waiting
for the newest draft of your murder.

Now all you know is the sweet
smell of gunpowder, men trembling
at the sight of you, and all you hear
are gold hummingbird songs.

By Alex Clendenning Jiménez


Alex Clendenning Jiménez was born in New Orleans and raised in New York, Brazil, and Spain. They completed Emerson College’s pre-college Creative Writers Workshop in the summer of 2016. They are a junior at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California, studying creative writing and are currently a member of the editorial staff of Parallax Literary Magazine. Alex’s writing and poetry has appeared in Idyllwild Arts Academy’s newsletter The Yeti, and has received an honorable mention in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

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