Albanians are beautiful when they sing,
often cupping their hands to their ears, calling out and calling back in,
dressing and standing, cream and burnt umber salad dressing, large black buttons and bright brass horns, topped with cucumber. Even once an accordion, like a squished
banana and I thought I heard a yodel.
They often travel in bands.
The underground is dark and people stare.
She shares my clothes; he leans on my neck tie.
Sunken eyes, burnt, but a healthy rest —
she dances with a glare, tightly with her baby there,
around and inside, somewhere. “You dance so well,”
speaking only French and I tugged at my belt.
The little child inside only smiled.
Leaning, cooing, whispering, wooing.
An arching double vision:
the back of a woman and next a headdress with a painful terror —
and I sat up, lightly touching, strewn books, pausing at titles, sighing, with one under my leg and another open with red letter between the sheets, the part when Harry meets Sally.
A lonely negro girl revitalized and charged —
Netting her hair and saying, “I’ll be right there!”
A nettling neighbor watching, a quick kiss and parting,
and a lonely girl on the metro to Merode, plaintively chewing at already bitten baked crust as the lights buzz, and I flicker on and off.
This girl dark with a light chin, pointed like her mother but her’s was larger and doubled.
Black plain true eyes — but soft on luck ...
Dust and pizza, a broken nose and a boy — no she did not know him —
He jostled from image to image dreaming of Colombia,
Body to body, pressed against already open books, pages tearing, forcing his
persistent shadow to grow and malinger, and I fear death ...
a lingering death as he picks cherries and finds my place.
Tries to place the scales and ribbons, peace back into place,
I lie side by side, he green and supine, a coconut and Borden’s mix of smooth, trace pale fingers and rest like a pillow, crying on naivete, like a spread napkin soaked, and he spreads. Speak about love and friendship but I remember I have an appointment.
Another he. He fell from a high tower and held Christ in his body shrieking all the way; his mother had asked: “Do you believe in God” hoping for salvation — though it was only a conversation. Why would you ask such a question?
But Colombia’s tears only trace and map a morose tale and look --
While other girls prim their hair, thinking of shiny boys and plump bellies,
I shake as the station nears by. She had already eaten her crust.
Colombia is only a memory but I hang a photo of Christ, a double vision and Albanians forever and ever woo me with their smiles.