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For a moment, the place seemed magical

I once lived in old Lisbon and not far from my place there was a landing with a broad panorama onto the river, all glimmering in sunlight most days. And on the white wall of the church someone had scribbled a line from Ary dos Santos:

È tão difìcil guardar o Rio Cuando el corre dentro de nòs

("How hard it is to observe the river As it flows right through the middle of us")

Later the city painted over the graffito. And soon thereafter another artist/thinker penned:

Pretos fora

("Away with Africans")

But for a moment there, Lisbon seemed magical.

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