Pasi′on Española

“I suppose when a man has something once, always something remains,” the woman said. She was speaking of her husband, who now was confined to a prison in Barcelona. The “something” that remains of Geraldo Kopa could not be known, since neither his condition nor the accusation against him had yet been revealed by the PSUC, or Partit Comunista, which seemed now to be more and more in charge of the Spanish government.

Philip was listening intently to the imprisoned Comandante’s wife, Plia, whose seasoned voice now issued from between her dark lips like slow smoke from some craggy Pyrennic cave, and the smoke enveloped her words in clouds of cynical hindsight.

Whatever it is inside a man that compels him to lead ragged, ill-equipped militias onto the frosty plateaus of Aragon and require those soldiers to hold a front line against trained fascist battalions — whatever it is that sustains him through such war, and then strengthens his resolve to do what is right — even even after his anti-fascist comrades have unjustly thrown the brave comandante into a dark prison; “Always something remains,” Plia was saying, as lamplight glowed on the taut skin of her high Castillian cheekbones, while the cigarette shrouded her obscure hope in pathos.

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