From across the crowded passeig
your eye is drawn to the shimmer
of its otherworldly façade,
its bits and bobs of broken tiles
washed by tides of light.
Its carnivalesque balconies
and freewheeling contours
are like the feckless dreams
of those who have no need to prosper
by hard graft or deals.
Incongruous, then, the way
it rises from this city’s
remorseless grid, whose
for quiet parks and walkways
was block by block
subverted, its breathing spaces
squeezed for rent.
Constricted, too, the cautious
lives of those who swept
from room to room
in that luminous ‘house of bones’,
where no expense was stinted
on iron, glass, wood, and stone
shaped to what the mind invented.