Monday, May 23, 2011


-for Aida

She asks me to say the word again,
watching the way my tongue touches
the back of my teeth and then the pucker of lips
the open sigh, then the kiss again.


It’s my favorite English word,
she tells me, tucking her hair behind her ear.

It is late in Madrid, but still
early enough for more drinks.
We are standing on the street corner
as her boyfriend rolls a cigarette
ducks his head down to light it.

I love that word, she says again
and I think how much I love the word
love when she says it, the heavy A sound
as if here, on this side of the ocean, love is stronger,
something that will take hold of you
and drag you down.

Yes, let’s go, her boyfriend says, his teeth holding down
the thin paper cigarette and we cross
the street, weaving our way through the warm night.
I reach back,
taking my husband’s hand in mine.

Overhead there is a plane,
and I try not to think of the people,
seated in the little seats,
reading or sleeping,
covered in red blankets, their heads tilted
to the side,
so high above us,
that we four, on this street,
are only fiction to them,
only temporary
because I want this night
and this week
and these stories we have shared to last
much longer than I know they will.

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