Flamenco at the Thirsty Bear. Jim Gunshinan

About Jim Gunshinan

 • The Artificial Heart
 • Heroes
 • Geography Lessons
 • Blue Cornflowers
 • Living by Water
 • Upon This Rock
 • The Man Dad Brought
    Home from the War
 • Physics
 • Black and White
 • Not the Mom We Were
    Used To
 • Nothing Sacred
 • Spring
 • Transformation
 • Please Straighten That Up
 • Up from Depression
 • What the Body Wants
 • Compassion
 • Commute
 • Kiss Me
 • Starter Castles
 • Flamenco at the Thirsty
 • A Nature Poem
 • Portrait of a Woman from
   the Gardens of Egypt in the
   First Century



Starter Castles

From the cozy living room
of the small gray cottage
I share with my wife and a dog
what the realtor called

a French country house
in a neighborhood of other small houses
a few with built-on second-story
master bedrooms

looming over one-car garages
I look up at a huge house on a hill
with complicated rooflines
high walls, and only a few windows.

I’ve never been to the medieval town of Assisi
but I’ve seen pictures
and that’s where this house belongs.
All that’s missing is the crenellation

for archers to stretch their bows
and loose their arrows.
The man of the house
might roll out the barbecue to the balcony

drop lit propane tanks on the envious
and foreclosed-upon below.
I hear the compressor compressing
from time to time, outside the castle walls

but that’s the only sign of life. Maybe
if I had seen the owners
dropping their kids off at school
or walking the dog

I would view things differently.
But I imagine a childless couple
who travel most of the year.
Perhaps they live in coffins

and have refrigerators full of blood
from their night raids into the City.
The servants come and go at night like ghosts
through hidden doors.

Maybe there’s a heliport on the roof
where the owners one day
dropped from the sky like gods.

  © Jim Gunshinan, 2013


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