Parents in Europe for two weeks now; I imagine them gazing up at the Paris sky in thick,
borrowed clothing, my mother’s face softer than it has been in years. My father must be smoking
a cigarette. For the last few days, you have been sleeping over, stretched out on the couch, arm flung
over face. I kiss your eyelids, your sour mouth. Poems come like birds outside my window, the common
brown kind, spotted and curious, loud in the mornings, there in the evenings, the rustling of their feathers
loud enough to brush up against my dreams. My mother must be happy somewhere north of the equator,
happy to wake to frozen mornings, happy to walk down Las Ramblas with her hands in her pockets, alone.
Last night you rolled over me in half-sleep, half-desire, took your time aligning our bones until I blinked
my eyes open and you had entered me, face buried in my shoulder, refusing to say my name. By the time
I have finished writing this, the cigarette burning on my ashtray will have put itself out; the drink
in my glass will have gone flat, there will be no ice left to crush between my teeth.

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