"Hill of Jews," says one,named for a cemeterylong gone."Hill of Jove,"says another, and maybeJove stalked hereonce or rests nowwhere so many liewho felt God swellthe earth and burnalong the edgesof their breath.Almost seventy yearssince a troop of cavalryjingled up the silent road,dismounted, and loadedtheir rifles to deliverthe fusillade intothe small, soft bodyof Ferrer, who wouldnot beg God's help.Later, two carpenterscame, carrying his pinecoffin on their heads,two men out of moviesnot yet made, and near darkthe body was unchainedand fell a last timeonto the stones.Four soldiers carriedthe box, sweatingand resting by turns,to where the fresh holewaited, and the world wentback to sleep.The sea, still darkas a blind eye,grumbles at dusk,the air deepens and a chillsuddenly runs alongmy back. I have comefoolishly bearing red rosesfor all those whose bloodspotted the cold floorsof these cells. If Icould give a measureof my own for eachendless moment of pain,well, what goodwould that do? Youare asleep, brothersand sisters, and maybethat was all the Godof this old hill couldgive you. It wasn'the who filled yourlungs with the powerto raise your voicesagainst stone, steel,animal, againstthe pain explodingin your own skulls,against the unbreakablewalls of the State.No, not he. Thatwas the gift onlythe dying could handfrom one of youto the other, a giftlike these roses I flingoff into the night.You chose no Godbut each other, head,belly, groin, heart, youchose the lonely roadback down these hillsempty handed, breathsteaming in the coldMarch night, or worse,the wrong roadsthat led to black earthand the broken seedof your body. The seaspreads below, stillas dark and heavyas oil. As Idescend step by stepa wind picks up and humsthrough the low treesalong the way, likethe heavens' last groanor a song being born.
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