Lying with one eye open I can see
a yellow spot staining the clean sheet
I put there yesterday,
a fleck of yolk suspended
in albumen, gold coin at the end
of a barren viscous sea
for those brave enough to stain
their lives to gild the Virgin’s mantle.
Their blood mixed with foam
dries to crackling on the shores of Spain.
Azafrán – the colour of evening sun,
the flavour of honey that never reaches
the lips, edging instead a labyrinthine Gospel,
spilling its light inside the borders.
Even now I can barely contemplate
its brightness in the eye of the bee,
how it dusts his muscular back
and grain for grain matches his gold
in the gasp of the calyx,
in the petal’s ragged breath.