the time she loved me back, against 
our better judgment, then disappeared
the following week.  one could not
know of us, not our only ones, and
water wouldn’t wash the taste away.
not the salt of cerulean ocean floors.
my sea sick sometime maritime through
my door, 
and every hint, every flushed cheek, and 
conversation lay in a bright, seducing
light, and i blushed, blushed i did to find her
we were not alone when her true eyes met 

       the sea star kissed me back
       gone to-morrow, ohhhh
       i feel a little sea sick, 
       the salty water doesn’t wash 
       the taste of you away, 

       in every single stitch, and
       every single thread, love
       marred, i ah i burn to find 

       perhaps that is why 
       i’ll never see you again…

another door again, then my shriveling 
denim in 
               a hot blanching wash, 
                                                       the usual 
baptism of a searing 110℉ El Paso day, 
the priest 
took a thin pyx out of his pocket, 
christ is the plank, she is the ship, let me 
show you the way.
       i stayed awhile on deck
looking for the love written in the book of 
       lingering there, waiting for you, and then
              there was not much more of that.

we pour that we know into wine skins.
we carry those ruddy grapes and smash them,
what we are with us all of the time, yes ma’am
yes’am i am. 
the dawn’s upon.  it’s time to rise—
to wash my young face, dress myself, open my eyes
and pass ‘cross the jamb of the door on to old spain.

i can breathe in andalucía, 
down in the port of santa maria.
yes, and i’d take a long drink to old lovers, 
not knowing
how i made them, 
or how long to stay this year—
with my cousins áfrica, oscar, perico
      we’ll toast in gibraltar,
      play song in the fair nearby at la linea—
      dancing, clapping, ringing the midnight chimes 
      into disrepair.