a little play for Lorca

José: We just killed Federico García Lorca!

Juan: We left him in a ditch and I fired two bullets into his arse for being a queer.”*

Amando: You killed Lorca? You and the corporal here?

José (nodding): I was there. I would have shot him, too, if the captain hadn’t already wasted two bullets.

Amando pulls a revolver from his coat and rests the grip on the table, pointing the muzzle between the two men.

Amando: You murdered him because you hated him?

Juan: We executed him to cleanse the nation.

Amando: If there was justice, I would march you to the police station to be tried for murder.

Juan: There is justice. It was done.

Amando: It is my duty to try you, and to punish you, because this is the only room where that can possibly happen now. You confess that you murdered Lorca?

José [rising]: I will go into the village and find soldiers. This man is crazy.

Amando shoots José in the chest and points the revolver directly at Juan.

Amando: Your end will the the same as his, but I will give you time to think about it first. He escaped fear and regret; you will not. We will wait.

A long time passes. The old clock ticks. Some hay blows in under the door.

Amando: You should pray.

Juan: Autumn will come with snails,
misted grapes and bunches of hills
but no one will watch your eyes
because you have died forever.

Amando: What! How do you know those words?

Juan: They were Lorca’s last. He said them in the ditch. They made an impression on me.

Amando: You believe that I cannot shoot you now, because you said those lines?

Juan: You cannot.

Amando: If I let you go, you will be boasting and laughing by midnight.

Juan: You cannot shoot me now.

*Real words, quoted by Jeremy Edelman, The New York Review, June 5, 2014

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.