You wanted love and expected what?
A parachute? Morphine? A gold sticker star?
The moment you were born—
you have to trust others because you weren’t there.
The strongest gift I was ever given
was made of twigs.
It didn’t matter which way it broke.
After I leave you at your door
I walk back across the dark town
to sounds of birds waking and complaining busses,
engines reluctant to start the day.
El panadero stops in front of a tienda
and pulls a crate of pan dulce from his van.
He has been up all night,
kneading, sprinkling sugar,
drawing full trays from warm ovens,
covered in the smells of his shop.
He nods at me, as if I’m a fellow laborer.
I nod back, agreeing:
I have passed these hours caressing your back,
kissing your thin lips,
and dipping my face
into the fragrant curls of your hair.
Before I walk on, I say, ‘Nos vemos,’
which is half a prayer that like el panadero
I should return to work each night
until my hands mold to your body
and my skin holds your scent.
Everything’s like that, more or less.
The heart moves in jolts.
Living means not meeting up with yourself.
At the end of it all, if I’m tired, I’ll sleep.
But I’d like to meet you and for us to speak.
I’m sure we’d get along well, you and I.
But if we don’t meet, I’ll keep the moment
In which I thought we might.
I keep everything—
All the letters I’m written,
All the letters I’m not written,