hotel room, madrid

We leave behind a language, travel back

to where her name began, a country split

in dialect she never learned to speak.


I want to smoke a cigarette, she says.

It’s quiet now. Her hair is wet with rain.

I lie in bed and watch her watch the storm,


the empty street below, remember when

my heart was still a broken compass, lost,

the needle spinning wild or stuck. I missed


her then. I missed her toes, the flecks of paint.

I missed her taste, unfolding lips, champagne.

She’s here, I tell myself. I smell the smoke,


the storm. I wonder when her hair will dry,

the flecks of red will fade, and hope they won’t.