Alejandro, I surprised the Imam, prone in prayer, bent over double, baffled and bowed. I was crying over a suite played by Pablo Casals while tracing the grooves of black Bakelite wax-woven into the Persian rug on which he was kneeling, facing east.
I gently took the Moor’s head in my hands and held him close.
Both of us were trembling. I kissed him tenderly on the forehead where the flame had just died out.
The old women’s tattooed and embroidered eyes were watching me from their adobe tower, mascara running down the walls and rusting as it reached the marble paving stones, all ears veiled, plugs of wax crumbling and dissolving, tongues atrophied by excessive violence, stuck like vermillion leaches on the walls of the Alhambra.
Jean-Christian Knaff, Palermo, May 2018