the morning scatters dovelike pigeons through its light. dust rises near the centerpiece, a statue of a man riding a horse, sword held high. at the base a plaque slowly greens with the ages. it reads: "onward into countless battles."

at the front of the square is a church, with its high spires stretching above them the grey sky. birds fall in lovely arches to the ground, to preen feathers and peck for corn thrown by tourists.

behind the church are rows of houses and buildings, each with its bricks stained a different color by the years passing it like the people in the morning, some holding hats and canes, some bare-handed, bare-headed, and walking, empty eyes, toward something obscured in the mist of the south town.

in the dust are your feet, planted as if by word of a tyrant aeons ago. to your right is the tobacconist's, and, behind it, an alley. to the left is a corridor of buildings, each seemingly at odds with the others from size or architecture, dissonance where one would expect the associative. gunfire emphasizes distance, but grows in your ears. time to leave this place. as the battles are countless.

at the north end of the square is the promontory walk, and garden. here are the footsteps of god, in the dust, where he took his last walk before the execution, on the morning you have arrived. all that you know is that you are alone; all that you know is yourself.

over the chimneys of the city rises the whitening cloud of day.