Who made these paintings on the walls
Of the Deaf Man’s House? From what dark halls
Of Spanish history come these figments?
How hold the brush? How mix the pigments?
Take silver tarnish from the mines of Peru
Mix well with tears for a dismal hue.
A widow’s mantilla, soaked in lye
Dissolves, and giving up its dye,
Creates the color of a midnight sky.
From the cellar of the Citadel
Grab a heretic or infidel.
A Muslim is okay to choose
If that day they’re out of Jews.
Burn him slowly, so you don’t waste fuel
Sift the ashes. When completely cool,
Stir with a wooden spoon or twig
Into the blood of a fresh-killed pig
This part is crucial: If it fails to congeal,
You made a mistake, but it’s no big deal:
You can always requisition
Another one from the Inquisition.