I saw the Duchess of Alba
at the checkout counter of The Whole Foods
food market on South Street, today.
She was here in Philadelphia,
miles from Madrid, —and Goya,
was bagging her wares.
Mesmerized, I stared straight at her
as she gazed through me as if I were air.
As I peered at her plume-jet-black hair,
I marveled to myself, It IS,
it’s the Duchess of Alba,
just like Goya once painted her!
Her eyes were black like Andalusian olives,
framed by two small arcs;
her nose brushed with
a whisp of a line;
and her lips were dabbed lightly
with rose-petal pink.
As her right silk-satin shoe pointed towards me,
she was standing proudly—
in that same haughty pose
once made famous by The Master …
In her hand,
she held an empty leash.
I wondered, Where could her Lowchen be?
Like a paparazzo, my eyes followed her
as she exited the store.
By unseen magic, the leash latched
to her little white lion dog—
eagerly waiting outside the door.
As the Duchess exited the food market,
guitar strains of Malagueña, the click-click
of castanets, the tap-tap of flamenco dancers,
and the scent of Naranja de Seville—
emanated from all the check-out counters—
filling the room, then spilling on to South Street.
Then much to my surprise—
The Duchess and Goya later were seen
sipping frosty summer drinks
in tall-stem glasses—at the COPABANANA cabana—
all the way down on Fourth Street!
Sofia Kontogeorge Kostos