Aflame

I wonder if he remembers my face
as I’m pulled into the building of his current life
on a stretcher, my left leg bleeding openly
a superficial wound borne out of carelessness
in this foreign land I now call home.

Those flames licked the brick walls of its chimney
so eager to fly high into the cold evening
as I heard my friends laugh away the hours
and he sat there refusing to meet me halfway
but I saw fire burning inside that mountain.

Years have passed where we last glanced at each other
where we kissed as the sun rose above the clouds
before I sailed across the sea to another home
only remembering his face in passing conversation
although the memory distorts itself with time and space.

I stare at the ceiling wondering what I’ll do
before he comes into the room and looks at me
nothing registers between us until night draws in
and we open our eyes from our dark corners
and meet again for a cold winter’s love.

Waterloo

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.