My favorite Pogues song came on so I asked you to dance with me. You wove your fingers through mine and flashed that devilish grin and I gave up. A couple of rounds later we were twirling around the floor like a pair of fools in love. People were cheering, laughing, kissing around us. I was intoxicated by your closeness, your warmth, your drunken lust. You tasted like cigarettes and mint. Your eyes were gray and full of pleading. You said I was cruel but flashed that smile all the same. I didn’t know what I was, I said. Still you held onto me, refusing to let go. Don’t go, you asked. Come with me, you said. Those gray eyes pierced me. I trailed my fingers along the line of your jaw as I contemplated my wandering stupor. Come with me, I asked you. You made a face at my not answering your question. But still we kissed and kissed and kissed until morning came.

A thousand miles later I stare out the window at the passing Irish countryside and you come back to me like a fragrance in the air. I realize it’s the clothes I’m wearing. I smell like you, your smoke and mint. I smell like that place. I smell like the dewy morning air in London and the brisk evening breeze in Munich. I smell like the smoky sweetness of the Christmas market in Marienplatz and the tangy spiciness of the Caribbean restaurant in Brixton. And now I smell like the salty thrashing currents of Galway, the insane winds sweeping me off my feet come sundown. I should wash my clothes but I don’t want to. You were the city I arrived in, the metropolis I inhabited for a time and the town I said goodbye to on that rainy afternoon. You were the bus I boarded before getting on the plane that would take me across the ocean and back home again.

You were perfect.


That distinctive but familiar Mexican rhythm beats over and over again as the singer’s voice wails during the chorus and then falls into a steady kind of endurance round. The bass guitar keeps it all in once piece, doom, doom, doom, doom. Just earlier, a violin was being played, each note strung slow and careful.

But tonight feels special. The air is sweet, the charm of summer has taken me in and I can’t get enough of its scent. I’m attracted to its loveliness in the hopes that I’ll latch onto its black wings and fly off into the starry horizon. I find my table in the garden of my favorite café and lay my things down as I stare up into the twilit sky, my spirits soaring with each gust of summer wind that caresses me. How could any one be inside right now? It’s too beautiful not to enjoy something sweet and spicy. To sit out and think. To ponder. To take pleasure.

Oh, you. A reminder of what I’ve missed for so long. The spark in my head. Perhaps I love the idea of you as it inspires me. You’ve lit another path I would explore. You’ve ignited that tiny flame in me that will rise ever higher as I keep going. The best part is that I don’t mind that it may all be blown out of proportion, that it’s my way of being creative in bringing about abundance from something so small. It couldn’t feel more right. So long as the idea of you is there, I have enough to create my canvas. Enough to paint with. You, handsome soul, are my muse.

Los Angeles, I’m yours.