by Sandy Benitez
You thought of me as your Queen Isabella,
as if I had sent you away to discover
new worlds, to discover whatever may exist
beyond what the naked eye could see
and claim it in my name, my honor.
I imagined you chatting with the birds
on The Canary Islands, sipping rum
on the beaches of The Bahamas,
all the while battling the easterlies
with the bravado of a Spanish conquistador.
Months drifted by like the Santa Maria
and still there was no sign of you.
My heart sank, heavy as gold bullion
with hope dying in the gilded birdcage
beside my bed beside the broken window.
Birdseed and feathers matted together
like an old couple lying on a deathbed,
waiting for the clock to strike;
neither one more precious than the other
but together irreplaceable.