Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Somewhere between Buenos Aires and Cordoba I wake. Early morning fog hides the fields of Argentina. The girl next to me has turned to face me in her sleep and I hold my breath and watch her. The bones in her pale shoulder where the blanket has fallen from it.

I heard her earlier, half-whispering down her phone in Spanish with a smile in her voice. My foolish envy when I heard the deep voice speaking back. Her phone glowed in the dark of the bus. The phone her light to him, the light his voice. Happy, she folded it into her hand, shut the light with a click. She let her seat back. The bus rocked us in time.

And I thought:

Of the miles behind me
Of the child who misses me
Of the love you don’t get back
Of the greatness of the world,
Buenos Aires’ fourteen million lights
spread on the dark behind us
Of my childhood, deep and wide as a river, already half forgotten
Of her family, somewhere, waiting
Of our ignorance, the darkness so much vaster than the light of our intersection
Of us all
Of us all
Of us all.

I wake and her face is a foot from mine, young and beautiful, and I steal for just one moment into the room we call intimacy. I steal into the place of her quiet, sleeping breaths. A thief, tender and ashamed, lingering there in that carelessly open doorway. I stay just long enough to steal this from her, this beauty she will never know was taken. Then I quietly close her door. I roll over to the window and watch dawn fill the pane with light.

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